Nastya, 17, was walking around the center of Minsk taking photos with her school friend. She said she is interested in Japanese culture and has begun studying the language. The biggest event in her life last year was developing a relationship with a Russian youth. She said they first met 3 years agoand mainly kept in touch via Skype, only seeing one another a few times over ghe years. In February 2014, he moved to Minsk to be closer to her.
I remember how some friends in NYC changed their look and image rather substantially after one or two years after highschool...Anna, who grew up in a provincial Volga town, entered university as an architecture student in Sept 2013 with brown hair. By January 2014, she had black hair. By June, when I first past her at a bus stop, she was blonde with dreads and 'India-inspired' clothing. She said she was on her way to a weekend-long outdoor music festival and dreamed of visiting India. When I saw her again at end of 2014, she said she was taking time off from university, spending her days drawing India motifs and doing yoga.
In my previous post about Lera, she said both her parents were skilled at drawing, . Akim, pictured here, takes the family artistic skills to one more generation. I saw Akim talking to friends near a music academy in the center of Moscow on a snowy afternoon, carrying an instrument on his back. He said he plays the violincello, recently finished his Russian music studies and was planning to continue his education in Germany. I asked if anyone else played music in his family. He said his parents and grandparents play the violin, among the eight professional musicians in his family. Akim grew up in Obinsk, a town outside Moscow built around the world's first nuclear power plant that is known for its top-notch physicists and engineers, not musicians.
Lera, 15 was sporting a Yankees winter hat as she walked on a coldy, sunny day with her friend Nastya along a pedestrian bridge that crosses the Moscow River. A highschool student, Lera said she "loves to draw everything", a hobby she said both her parents enjoy as well. She said she may pursue design in university.
One thing I have learned from my Russian street portraits is that Japanese culture is more popular among Russian youth (girls in particular) than I thought. Natalya, who was sitting in a Moscow cafe with a friend at a table next to me, said her most memorable event of 2014 was attending a concert by One Ok Rock, her favorite Japanee band. "Their music is an escape from everything bad that has happened." Natalya, who works in HR, has been a One Ok Rock fan for 6 years and was planning to go see them in Japan as she never imagined they would perform in Russia...Natalya said One Ok Rock's visit was especially memorable because she got the chance to give them a picture she drew for them.
As I mentioned in my last post, the Starbucks shops in Moscow attract a colorful crowd. Alina and Dasha were watching the American TV serial Fargo on their tablet as they drank their Lattes. Each shared one earphone to listen to the show. Alina, a journalism student, said after watching many serials, they can understand the peculiar jokes. I left shortly after taking their picture to run some errands. When I passed by the store about 75 minutes later, Alina and Dasha were still sitting their watching the serials.
With her bright red coat and dyed red hair, Kristina really stuck out from the crowd on this recent snowy day in Moscow. Kristina said she wants to become an 'image maker,' helping people look their best. An 'eastern dances' performer, she said the most memorable event of 2014 were her work trips to China and Turkey with her dance group. Because of her Asian features and perfect Russian, "people in Turkey and China couldn't figure out where I was from." She said she is Kazakh from the capital of Almaty but has been living in Moscow the last 4 years. She is the first Kazakh I have photographed in my portrait series .
He was walking toward Arbat Street in a colorful outfit and instrument on his back, so I stopped to chat with him. He said he was born in Krygyzstan and spent a total of 18.5 years behind bars. When I asked for what, he answered "Everything! Marihuana, theft, armed assult." He then went off to meet some young people, leaving me with the feeling he may still see the inside of a prison.#prison #moscow #russia #portrait #life#streetphoto #story #photojournalism#instagood
Fedya was wearing a 'From Brooklyn' winter hat while walking in a Moscow street underpass. He said he and his sister moved to Moscow from Bukhara, Uzbekistan. His mom passed away and his dad lives in Uzbekistan. Fedya has worked the last four years as a courier, racing around Moscow. He said he just entered university to study ecology, adding it should be a needed profession in resource-rich Uzbekistan. On a side note, NYC (Queens, not Brooklyn) is home to a large diaspora from Bukhara.
This English-language student said the biggest event of the pasy year was a trip to Italy, her first visit to a foreign country. "I alsolutely loved it. People there are happy, friendly, open...not rushing around and angry at the world." She said she chose English as it's "the language of languages" and loves to sit and think long and hard how to most beautifully translate literature. When not studying, she plays experimental music with her bass guitar. The photo was taken in front of her university.