“ I live in America but my motherland is Russia. This is a culture with a long history and unique traditions, in which I cherish and pass on to my daughter and the younger generation of Russians ,who were born here in America and have never been to Russia, because it is very important to keep and sustain our traditions. In the past, all of these pieces of clothing were sewn by hand . I’m wearing a blouse with the traditional Russian Sarafan. The jacket is usually worn for a special occasions. It was made with love and kindness, and those who sewed it always added some embroidery like pearls to make it more beautiful.”
In this timely photo series “Who we are: the will to adorn”, the subjects adorn themselves with pieces of clothing and jewelry that have a history, sentimental meaning, and significance to their identity. In a time where racial division is on the rise and anti-immigration rhetoric is prevalent, it is a joining of women who have “the will”, the deliberate intention, to celebrate the beauty of who they are. The combination of photojournalistic photographs and unconventional portraiture place subjects in their own home or landscapes that resemble their native land. With this, I am inviting viewers to look, listen, and think about the significance of adornment, the value of culture, and the will that it takes to be who we are, truly and fearlessly in America.