Alehovshchina by Nadia Sablin
In 1952, my grandfather began to lose his vision as a result of being wounded in WWII. Wanting to return to the place where he grew up, he found an unoccupied hill in a village in the Leningrad region of Russia, close to his brothers, sisters and numerous cousins. He took his house apart, log by log, and floated it down the Oyat river to its new location and reconstructed it. This house, with no running water or heat, is the place where my father and his siblings grew up, each moving to the big city after finishing school.
Now, more than half a century later, the house still stands, occupied by two of my aunts in the warmer months. They plant potatoes, bring water from the well, and chop wood for heating the stove. In the summer of 2008, I spent two weeks in the village, photographing my aunts' quiet occupations, and the small world surrounding them. The collective milk farm behind the house, the sprouting makeshift lumber yards, the neighbors' children, all seem untouched by the passage of time.
Nadia Sablin lives and works in Brooklyn, New York and St. Petersburg, Russia.
To view more of Nadia's work, please visit her website.