Vlad Molodez: The Siberian Fairytale

  • Photography  Vlad Molodez

The Siberian fairytale…this is what I called my project long before the shoot. I wanted to present my open-hearted homeland from my childhood memories. While shooting this series of photographs, I was revisiting my childhood years and showing Siberia in its’ vastness, which I still have not fully explored. From the very beginning of the project, I aim to show my homeland in a dreamlike way. We all remember fairytales from our childhood, that inspire us to this day.

Through the camera, I wanted to capture the burning and full of life eyes of the Siberian people that I had a chance to meet in various villages. I travelled for two weeks with my grandmother, who helped massively on the project, we visited more than 9 villages in the Kemerovo region and the native Sharypovsky region. I traveled with her to our native lands, she helped me find heroes on the streets, after the initial day of shooting she could see what this project and shooting photographs meant to me. Most importantly I felt like she was living this project with me! It was an amazing time, I am very grateful to her! Even in freezing weather, when temperature reached -30 — -35 degrees, our shoot didn’t stop, I was driven by excitement and huge interest in experiencing the wild and severe North!

Not far from my hometown Sharypovo with a population of 38 thousand people, there is tiny, mesmerising village in the Kemerovo region. People here are training and practicing sports. One of them a skier, who is training daily in the extreme weather conditions, his dream is to participate in the Olympics. I was fascinated by his fortitude and tenacity, which manifests itself from his childhood.

I was capturing this series based only on feelings, I was experiencing childhood together with the local children. Remembering that time when I was a child, living in a different world, observing and admiring Siberian culture. The children in my photographs are living modestly, far from busy cities, they spend their childhood outside and rejoice at little things as I did 15 years ago. On the days we were shooting, I felt as if though I was in a movie, where feelings and emotions come to the fore and transcend. I didn’t think and just continued to shoot with bated breath and observed the life of little habitants.

For me, the Siberian home is something warm and light, in every face I see a part of myself. I spent the whole of my childhood in Sharypovo, in the natural landscape, at 18 years I left my homeland I soon realised that nature is an essential part of my personality and it inspires me the most.

Siberia with its endless expanses gives me a feeling of security and detachment from everything as if I am plunging into a world where I feel fulfilled and calm. That same fairytale world, built by the subjects in my images, brings the most vivid and kind feelings!