My grandmother lived in Luhansk, the war zone of Eastern Ukraine, where it was not safe for her anymore. Since my grandmother is ill and needs taken care of, my parents decided to bring her to Estonia to live with them.
I have been documenting my grandmother’s life for almost a year by photographing and filming her, by talking to her and collecting material. At first I was interested in changes she would make in her new room, but over time my focal point was altered. Through photographing I tried to reach out to her, since I do not speak Ukrainian or Russian. By observing my grandmother I understood that she is not happy in her new home and being with her family does not erase her longing for her original home where she had lived her entire life. I saw how the new environment was uncomfortable and strange for her and how she felt herself not belonging here. Her days are spent in front of a TV where she hopes to hear the news that she can finally return home.
The title of the exhibition “A New Land Outside My Window” was inspired by Theodor Kallifatides’ book with the same title.
The project was part of a one-year long workshop entitled “Beyond Photojournalism” organised by ISSP (International Summer School of Photography) and run by Andrei Polikanov and Yuri Kozyrev. The project resulted in a website grandmothernews.com with updates on my grandmother.
Curated by Laura Toots