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Olya Ivanova December 1, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Russia.

Vova and Nose. Siberia, Russia 2009

Olya Ivanova (b.1981, Russia) received a BA in literature and worked as a copywriter with global advertising agencies in Moscow until her boyfriend gave her an old film camera. She is a self taught photographer who has been heavily influenced by the work of Alec Soth and Guillaume Herbaut. Olya currently shoots for magazines including Monocle, Psychologies, Time Out, Russian Reporter and others. Her photographs has been exhibited in Moscow at the Solyanka Gallery, Fotoweek in Washington, DC  and the Museum of the Fine Arts in Denys-Puech of Rodez France. Her work has been recognized by the Photo Circle Festival in Vilnius, Lithuania and the Julia Margaret Cameron Award, Honorable mention in Portraiture, UK.

About the Photograph:

“This picture was shot in Gorelovka, a village in Siberia 800 km from Novosibirsk. It was for a story about hermits living in a village that historically was a place to escape and hide. Many years ago Christian old believers came here to avoid church reform. Then ‘kulaks’ (wealthy peasants) chose this place to escape from Stalin’s repressions. Now many ‘new world antagonists’ settle here to live without passports, personal tax numbers, church and government. Vova is not a hermit, he is just a local, who works as a stove-man in winter and as a saw mill worker in summertime. Each day we visited and started with beer and finished with vodka, the usual life here. We listened to his old gramophone or rode on his Soviet bike across the fields to drink from a natural source of water. It was pure happiness. Vova was sitting behind the stove, it was the end of September and quite cold. His cat Nose all of a sudden jumped on his shoulder and stared at me. “