/ Elena Liventseva / Photo story

Father figure

“Those who do not have a father must find one for themselves.” F. Nietzsche.

My project is an attempt to see, approach, and recreate the image of my father, to live out my feelings for him. I didn’t know my dad, I didn’t know him and my mom as a family, as a couple, they divorced when I was about 7 months old. I met my dad only once, secretly, and he said: “I want you to know I love you.” After that, I never saw him again.

Somehow, on the street, a classmate said to me: “Your father is dead.” From that moment on, nothing was the same, some part of me died with him. I was 12.

When I think about my father, I feel pain, but I can’t even miss him, because it requires memories. I grew up feeling lost in the world of men. Being sexually abused as a child, I acquired trauma, the need to get someone’s attention, social dependence, and the constant search for a safe place. After the death of my father, I realized that no one could protect me anymore. I do not know if my dad’s image would have been so idealized for me if we went through all the stages of his fatherhood together.

With this project, I wanted to face the image that I created and separate the real person and myself from it, allowing me to complete and live out the missing emotions and feelings.

Elena Liventseva is a Russian photographer born in Voronezh. Student of the Academy of Documentary and Art Photography Fotografika.