Firecracker is delighted to announce the receipient of its second Photographic Grant, to Russian born photographer, Nadia Sablin.
Sablin was chosen by Firecracker jurors, Sean O'Hagan, Karen McQuaid, Kelly Preedy, Anne Bourgeois-Vignon and Hannah Watson, for her project 'Two Sisters', a series of photographs detailing the lives of two unmarried sisters living in Northwest Russia.
Having spent their whole lives living and working in big cities, after retirement the two women have come back to their childhood home. Aleftina and Ludmila are in their seventies, but they are choosing to return to the traditional way of life in Russia, chopping wood for heating the house, bringing water from the well and making their own clothes. As they get older, they are less and less able to perform the grueling tasks of running their small farm, but Aleftina, the older sister, insists that it is this physical work that keeps them alive. The vegetables the women harvest in the fall and the berries they gather in the summer supplement the meager pensions on which the elderly subsist in Russia.
"My photographs are an exploration of two women’s reliance on each other, ancestral tradition and land as a means of survival. The house in which Aleftina and Ludmila live was built by their father. The rugs were woven by their mother. They contribute to the home as well, with new wallpapers, hand-sewn curtains, quilts and lace. Handwritten recipes are folded to contain seeds for planting, or rolled up balls of stray hair. The meticulously weeded garden sprouts flowers among the strawberries and onions. Their rural environment is as much a character as they are themselves. The project is a meditation on aging, family and a sense of belonging."
Nadia Sablin was born in the Soviet Union and spent her adolescence in the American Midwest. She now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and St. Petersburg, Russia. Her photographs have been shown at the Philadelphia Art Museum, Griffin Museum of Photography, and Jen Bekman gallery, amongst others. She was recently chosen for the 'Jurors Picks' section of the Daylight Photo Awards, and was nominated as a Magenta Foundation Flash Forward Emerging Photographer in 2011. Her work is in the collections of the Philadelphia Art Museum and the Cleveland Institute of Art Library.
Firecracker's jury also Highly Commends the work of two photographers, who will each be supplied with a bursary of £500 and a contribution of books, courtesy of Trolley.
Regine Petersen - Germany
Fragments is the second chapter of Petersen's ongoing work on meteorites, following 'Stars fell on Alabama', an investigation on a meteorite falling through a roof and striking a woman in her Alabama home in 1954. Set in a different social background, a decade after the end of World War II and another before the first human being walking on the moon, the second chapter deals with the construction of memory and historical fact.
Myriam Meloni - Italy
'Behind the Absence'
Behind the Absence is a documenation of the 100,000 children in Moldova growing up without their parents. They are the country's social orphans, whose fathers and mothers have emigrated in search of a job that will enable them to survive, driven by the hope to ensure a better future for their families.
The featured photographer for September 2013 was Nadia Sablin