I was born in Norilsk, a mining city in Northern Siberia where my family lived for 20 years.
In 1991, at just 7 months my parents brought me and my 7 ­older siblings to the place where we
lived out the majority of our lives: Darmstadt, Germany. I have always tried to understand the
origins of my family as both a German and Russian citizen. In January 2018 I decided to reconnect
with my roots by finally returning to my birthplace. Often have I struggled to understand why the
eldest members of my family who grew up in that far off land were so different than I. When I was
nine, my father passed away, leaving me with many lingering questions about my ­family’s roots and
legacy. As I grew older, these questions began to resonate loudly within me, pushing me to seek
for answers. Before You is what came about from this introspective journey in which I recreate past
memories through photography and video. I deconstructed the reality of the place I found before me
and ­revisualized it in a way that would convey mine and my family’s truth more ­accurately to those
who wish to understand it.