Ilya Rodin
In My Shoes
About the project
The declaration of war by russia against Ukraine led to a massive migration of russians to Armenia. This is one of the easiest countries to leave russia for due to the ability to get there with just a russian passport. The reasons for emigration vary from ethical values to "life or death" situations. Many found themselves in the sort of point of nowhere and had to start from the ground up
There is one common issue among refugees — shoes. Shoes are hard to transport, so many refugees were the ones they urgently put on during their last day in russia. In addition, good shoes are hard to find, especially in a foreign country, and even harder to just have money to spend. Shoes are the portrait of the refuge’s road of uncertainty. I’ve photographed still-lifes of the shoes of russian refugees around Armenia. As a background, I used their new temporary homes or their most common places.
About the author
Ironically, I started being a photographer in emigration. While I loved photography, had a bachelor’s degree, many pics, and several projects behind my back, I couldn’t and never actually tried to pay bills with photography. I worked as an assistant and a gaffer. But finding myself in a whole new world and lost, I reflexively started taking pictures and using photography as means of dialogue with the world. I had to be true to myself to find the most comfortable place and people for me. So, I started doing what I truly love — photography.
I don’t know why exactly we take pictures. But it expresses something that can be understood without time. Because photography as a medium doesn’t have time. Thus, for me, photography is about eternity.