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Neither by Kate Nolan October 18, 2010

Bio

Kate Nolan is a recent BA Hons graduate in Documentary Photography from the University of Wales, Newport. Her Neither project has been included in an upcoming publication on creative photography and has been exhibited in London, Kaliningrad and Cardiff. Neither is a work in progress and she will be heading back in a few weeks to continue with the project.


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Artist Testimonial

They tell me I need a job, to be responsible, grow-up and be someone important. Here in Russia at 25 a woman is supposed to have a family, home, good job, everything sorted out. Sometimes I start to believe them and then I meet someone normal like you and it changes. – Irina

Neither is an exploration into the hearts of the new generation of post-soviet Kaliningrad. Locked into dreams of a future that their homeland cannot recognize or fulfil, they look afar. They are searching for their identity while trapped under the weight of their history and the isolation from both their motherland and the new Europe. Left in a land that both overwhelms and underwhelms with little ability to know their future.

Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian enclave, is wedged between Poland, Lithuania and the Baltic Sea. You must cross over 800km and pass through both Lithuania and Belarus to get to ‘Big Russia’. Kaliningrad’s history has been fraught with transformation greatly affecting its identity. It was once known as Konigsberg, a major city of Prussia, until 1944 when the Red Army invaded and the German population fled or were killed. The region was then handed over to the Russians who said to the rural and poor of Russia in this now empty region, ‘come to Kaliningrad and pick your home.’

The younger generation of this region is the first to have lived in these post-soviet times. This does not mean that it had no effect on them, it is part of them in their daily lives. The women I have been living with and sharing with have opened up their homes and minds to allow me an inside look into this link between place, identity and history.


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