Project author: Andrew Kounitskiy
I used to think that I am not a consequence of Russian society but a product of modern civilization, a man without seal of any national culture. My parents carried me to different countries when I was a child, they had a lot of foreign friends who visited us. I was taught languages from my childhood, I watch Hollywood movies for all my life and I have Facebook. I feel myself quite comfortable in any Western country -I understand principles of these people, their ideas and their way of life and I have many friends in different countries.
Immigrated to Canada I do not feel myself at ease and constantly compare everything with "there" because after spending most of my life in Russia I could not cease to feel myself not local.
For mine "Not Local" project I shot families of Russian immigrants of the last wave (1990-2010) living in the city of Vancouver in Canada. I chose a light solid background with no interior details, shadowless lighting, direct look into the camera, to bring some condition of taking photos for documents.
Moving to another country, being subject of influence of surrounding society, changes people. There is no great Russian community such as Chinese, Indian or Filipino. Russian diaspora in Vancouver is pretty small – just about 2 percents or 30 000 people, and lots of them do not try to unite and create any community, do not try to create a society from which they departed. People just trying to take features of the largest social group – Canadians. It concerns the appearance and behaviour.
However, despite all their efforts, they still identified as Russians - by indestructible type of Russian people.