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Layers of a Fairy Tale

Nadia Sablin’s book “Years Like Water” is a decade-long exploration of her grandparents’ small village in Russia, where she reconnected with a magical wilderness and a timeless way of living.

When she left Russia in 1992, Nadia Sablin didn’t know if she would have been able to come back. In 2008 she managed to, but the country she once knew had changed. Only the small village where she used to visit her parents, in the countryside outside of the city of Alekhovshchina, helped her find her way back into her childhood.

Petya and Andriusha Vysotskiye, 2014

Vitya, Alyona, 2010

Seryozha Maymistov, 2012

Teenagers on post office porch, 2009

Former School House, 2017

Katya Vysotskaya with Polina, 2017

In the book, children grow up free and unsupervised, while adults struggle for survival in a microcosm that seems to be cut out from society. The photographs challenge the preconceptions regarding “Putin’s Russia” put forth by both Eastern and Western media, telling a more complicated story of “beauty, poverty, trauma, and hope.”

Ferns, 2018

Vysotskiye family on NewYears Eve, 2018

New Year pig, 2018

Alyona Savelyeva, 2019

The book “Years Like Water” is published by Dewi Lewis and available at the price of 35£.

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