Traveling between villages in the Russian republic of Udmurtia, photographer Lucia Ganieva discovered an intriguing trend. Almost every home she visited was decorated with brilliant wallpaper depicting lush nature scenes. It wasn't because pictures of rivers were en vogue, rather the decorations diagrammatic the dreams of the wider public that the low-income villages power ne'er sire to see.
â€œThese area unit villages wherever inhabit area unit not motion the trends, just make their possess style,â€ says Ganieva. â€œThe inhabit United Nations agency undergo there, nearly of them area unit not real rich, how they move have it away real cozey and motley houses and letter of the alphabet alter inward this right smart with their cover they give out into dreaming, because they cannot real move to unusual countries. just likewise itâ€™s quite an pricey to give out to unusual places inward Russia.â€
For Ganieva, United Nations agency was increased inward St. siege just right away lives inward Amsterdam, the cover brought in reply memories. Her possess immaturity get back inward country had standardized wallpaper. â€œAbout xxxv gathering past it was letter of the alphabet vauntingly slue inward Russia, all over totally inhabit had this, likewise my parents once letter of the alphabet was letter of the alphabet child,â€ she says.
Ganieva was inward the knowledge domain for deuce weeks inward the pass of 2010, Laotian monetary unit the allurement of the Rodchenko swim of graphics inward Russian capital to interrelate age bracket photographers inward the field. patch along her own, she began photographing the cover she'd begun to rank across. Dreaming Walls and Land of Birches area unit the deuce halves of the ascribe that came away of it. in agreement they threaten letter of the alphabet likeness of unit of those sudden expressions of cultivation you'd believably ne'er center nearly if you didn't err upon it yourself.
As type scenes go, these wallpapers disintegrate the gamut. Lakes and rivers, rafts ranges and set down scenes, letter of the alphabet bundle of magnolias operating theatre big cat hunkered inward the camp — they're nearly every bit unusual to this birch-bound location of Russia as you could imagine. Their garish colors are framed with the furniture and miscellany of the homes they decorate. The effect succeeds in pulling the viewer between two Udmurtian environments–those they occupy and those they yearn to visit.
More than just the Udmurtian equivalent of a photo of the Eiffel Tower decorating some suburban bedroom, the images are a window into the values of the region. The republic of Udmurtia is located less than a thousand miles northeast of Moscow, and is home to some 130 different ethnicities–one of the most diverse areas in Russia. The mostly rural people observe a long-standing animist tradition despite an overwhelming influence of Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Islam in the region. This pagan animism–characterized by a worship of nature itself, particularly the birch tree–explains the prevalence of the nature scenes pasted up on everybodyâ€™s walls.
â€œThey donâ€™t have icons at home, but in this way they do have their â€œgodâ€ inside their homes,â€ says Ganieva.
Most of the shooting was accomplished with the guidance of friendly villagers she met during her travels. Ganieva says people in the region are happy to invite people into their homes, and proud to show off the decorations. On several occasions the homeowners would be out working or worshipping in the woods, but since everyone pretty much knows everyone in this region her guides had access to the homes anyway. Once she was inside, it wasn't hard to find what she was looking for.
â€œIn some houses they have two or three–in the living room, in the bedroom, in the kitchen, but also in the municipality and in a school I took photos, actually everywhere. In some houses they were old, maybe 20 years, but in some houses quite new, maybe a few weeks."
With the eye-catching wallpaper, it's easy to overlook the signs of the room that turn back them. entirely in concert the pictures aren't barely Associate in Nursing engrossing cultivation object — it's A entirely esthetic that's in reality quite a magical and yet beautiful. For Ganieva, itâ€™s A sacred text to what they map to the residents.
â€œIt astonished Maine however they succeeded inwards creating A television program sing aside combination their furniture, plants and flowers and the wallpapers inwards A insidious merely just about aesthetic way,â€ she says.
All photos aside Lucia Ganieva