A complicated Soviet past coupled with the vast geography of Russia has made border territories a problematic area politically, physically and culturally. The inherent disturbance of boundaries, whether due to the process of unification or disintegration, have always been connected with the issue of self-loss. Border territories, as the most distant and disturbed areas of the country, illustrate like no other, the state of present-day Russia; how it is shaping its identity and its relationship with the Soviet consciousness, which it seeks to both outlive and preserve.

The project has taken an approach of an ethnographical journey, an investigation of the political and cultural symbols we naturally or artificially embed in the surrounding landscapes to mark the territory with what relates to or signifies our identity. It explores the connection between the disturbance of territorial boundaries and identities and serves as a study of cultural symbols associated with collective identity and landscape as its metaphoric representation.

This project is supported by IdeasTap and has received the IdeasTap Photographic Award run in association with Magnum Photos.