Place: St. Petersburg
Publisher: Self published
Size: 15 x 21 cm (approx.)
Softcover, edition of 100 signed and handnumbered copies.
„Malinikha (or Malinovaya Gora) is the name of an old residential area on the outskirts of Izhevsk, Russia which is translated as Raspberry Hill. The buildings, mainly five-story apartment blocks, were built in the 50s during the Khrushchev era. At that time, after the WWII, my great-grandparents got an apartment from the government in one of them.
As many other residents of Malinikha I was born and raised here. I think the differences between the story of my childhood and youth and stories of my friends, neighbors, people of older and younger generations will be as little as between the interiors of our apartments. We lived roughly the same way: smashed windows, stole laundry, climbed garages, had parties near the entrances of our apartment blocks and in the entryways, sold metal for scrap and made mini bombs.
Other citizens of Izhevsk have a peculiar attitude towards Malinikha: it is still considered a ghetto because of many gangs that operated here in the 90s. But despite the reputation and obvious poverty of the neighborhood people reluctantly leave it – they’d rather move from one apartment building to another than to other area. The sense of community is still palpable here. Every new person you meet you already know through someone – family, classmates or neighbors. The intersection of lives is what makes living in Malinikha so distinct.
That said, the Malinikha residents are united but also limited by lower social class. The connections that are so important inside the neighborhood lose their value outside the community and thus people choose to stay in the familiar world.
I wanted to document and make sense of this collective experience and understand how the place of residence influences people’s lives. While working on this project, I couldn’t ignore the fact that I looked into my possible future in some way. Even though I live in a different city now, I still feel the mark left on me by Malinikha and thus I will never be able to leave it for good.“