I lived in 6 countries and know 3 languages. I have been raised in a multicultural environment of Post Soviet Union. All these diverse groups of individuals/communities I lived with were brought to a common place by revolution and the wars that followed after the revolution. My grandpa was a survivor of all three horrifying events and ended up with family in Kazakstan with great amount of Others who have a different beliefs, cultural traditions, languages. Diversity was embedded into the sharing space of cultural traditions like food, holidays, songs and dances, etc., and simultaneously all of it was suppressed by government that tried to dilute these powerful cultures and their connections and to oppress their specificity. Interweaving histories, lineages, heritages and persevering resistance to oppression and dilution created sophisticated paths within a labyrinth of communication modes, legal and illegal. I am a third generation of explorers of extremely diverse ways to connect to the world full of Others by preserving the ancient and inventing anew, and have lived now for many years in the diverse environment of the United States where I have continued to practice this artwork.
photo by Elena Zhukova