Body of Protest

This series started for me when I discovered a troubling fact: many people around me were no longer surprised by the news that people taking part in a peaceful protest were dispersed with batons and detained. Those who were detained were often beaten, and excessive force was even directed at women and children — and it has become «normal».

We take part in a protest because of our political beliefs, to stand up for our rights, but it is our body that has to bear the consequences. We may feel excitement, pride or anger, but there are more physical things — cold, discomfort, fatigue, pain. The body might be more afraid than the mind.

It turns out that the only way we can answer to violence is by putting our body against it (because nobody cares about things written online). We go to a protest knowing that for the body it can have any consequences, but we still go and we discover power in both the vulnerability and the fearlessness.

Protest is a way of declaring your position, but also becomes a way to find your own body, live in it and experience it, a way of being actively present in it.

Taking part in a protest becomes the key to realising your own self-worth and responsibility for the consequences. Being ready to pay for your own opinions with your body is one of the ways of finding dignity.

This series combines photos taken at actual protests that happened in Russia in 2019 with staged photographs reflecting on the physical experience of taking part in these events.