/ Elena Liventseva / Photo story

Looking for my mother

My project is about closeness with mom. In my childhood, my mother almost never was near. First because of her second marriage, then because of her alcoholism. And then she completely disappeared. My childhood passed in an attempt to hide and protect myself from the label “orphan”. For 15 years I didn’t know about my mother, but I continued to look for her. In my memory, she remained young. I didn’t recognize her when we met. Recognition of mother began with the recognition of her body. Everything changed when I found out about mom’s childhood trauma. At 12, she gave birth to a baby. But the girl drowned at the age of 6 months. It was a child’s sorrow over a child. Sorrow became family secret that couldn’t be mentioned. Mom didn’t forgive herself; harming herself was easier than forgiving. She hid her life in guilt, hopelessness, alcohol. Now our closeness with mom continues to grow, although the past still interfers us.

Elena Liventseva is a Russian photographer born in Voronezh. Student of the Academy of Documentary and Art Photography Fotografika. Her series were shortlisted for the Riga Photomonth projection The Nature of The Beast.