Then There Was Us

Years Like Water is a documentation of complexity and beauty

2023-02-07 – Feature

Russia

Years Like Water is a decade-long project by photographer Nadia Sablin, exploring a small Russian village and its inhabitants.

The series focuses on four interrelated families and the impact of nature, mythology, and ramshackle institutions on their lives. Over ten years, Sablin attended key events and had tea with the villagers, capturing their stories of love, loneliness, and survival.

Her photographs challenge the "neat narrative" of "Putin's Russia" portrayed in media and instead showcase the complexity of beauty, poverty, trauma, and hope in the village. 

Sablin is a 2018 Guggenheim fellow, winner of the Center for Documentary Studies Honickman prize, and New York Foundation for the Arts fellow in photography. 

Her work has been featured in prominent publications such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Washington Post, and exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across the US, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

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