Years Like Water is a decade-long look at a small Russian village, its inhabitants, ramshackle institutions, nature, and mythology. The series loosely follows the lives of four interconnected families – the children growing up unsupervised in a magical wilderness, whilst the adults struggle for survival. Over more than ten years of visits, Sablin attended birthdays and funerals, drank tea with the grandmothers, and listened to stories of the villagers’ loneliness and love for one another. Her photographs from Alekhovshchina explore and describe a world that doesn’t fit into the neat narrative of “Putin’s Russia” presented by both Eastern and Western media. It is more complicated – interweaving beauty, poverty, trauma, and hope.
Nadia Sablin (b. Russia, 1980) is a photographer, whose work explores the larger world through intimately observed narratives, memory, fact, and myth. Her ongoing projects are primarily based in rural Russia and Ukraine, spanning years of children growing up, elders growing old and the practical ways in which people cope with the passage of time in an unstable economic environment.
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 featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Moscow Times, The New Yorker, American Photo, and The Washington Post and exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across the US, including Philadelphia Museum of Art, Southeast Museum of Photography, Blue Sky Gallery in Oregon, and Cleveland Museum of Art.
128 pages, 69 colour photographs
230mm x 255mm