Photography of Evgeniy Petrachkov from Russia

Evgeniy Petrachkov (b.1991 in Izhevsk, Russia Russia) is is a documentary photographer. He currently lives and works in Moscow. He graduated with B.S. in IT from Izhevsk State Technical University in 2012.

Evgeniy was short-listed at Street Photography Festival (Russia) twice in 2013 and 2014. In 2013-2014 he participated in the documentary photo project From White To Black Sea organized by Liberty.su which aimed to investigate Russian waterways and document life in the province. It resulted in two exhibitions: From White To Black Sea. North in the Gallery of Classic Photography (Moscow, 2013) and From White To Black Sea in the Ocean Museum (Kaliningrad, 2016).

In 2015 he participated in Goa Photo Festival where he took a workshop with Raghu Rai and had a portfolio review with Gaury Gill. He had his first solo in 2016 which was an exhibition dedicated to the culture of American football in Russia (art space Grifon, Izhevsk).

In 2017 he got selected for projection at Riga Photomonth – International Photography festival which explores and shows photography from Northern and Eastern Europe. He also participated in Moscow PhotoBook Fest, 2017 in a group exhibition and portfolio review.

I started taking photos consciously and meaningfully only 6 years ago and to talk about some serious evolution in my opinion is too early at this stage.

For a long time I was shooting on film cameras, and it could sound paradoxical, but the film was cheaper than the digital camera for me. Now I completely abandoned the film, although the transition was very difficult. The method of shooting if it can be described so – is a dissection of the surrounding world-society, but at the same time I allow myself to work impulsively.

I came to photography from music, and so far for me it’s almost inseparable things. So most of all my work was influenced by good music, everything from specific music to independent pop bands of the 80s.

I started the Malinikha project on the second year of the Technical University and I must admit I was not completely aware of what I was doing when i started it. This is about the area in which I was born and raised, but now I do not live there, although I go back constantly. For me, this is a story, and the use of a black and white film reflects the feeling of the past and some nostalgia. A series of Deprivations was filmed in St. Petersburg, where and when I moved from Izhevsk. I tried to convey, a feeling of discomfort when you are in a new city for a long time, which has no connections with you.

The work took me a year and a half. Two zines were published on these two projects. Now I’m working on several projects, they will all be in color and I will be using a digital camera. Also I’m going to make a micro-publishing, in which I will publish my old works not included in the projects, there may be reprints of previous zines, work of friends, etc.

Project Statement : Malinikha (or Malinovaya Gora) is the name of an old residential area on the outskirts of Izhevsk, Russia which is translated as Raspberry Hill. The buildings, mainly five-story apartment blocks, were built in the 50s during the Khrushchev era. At that time, after the WWII, my great- grandparents got an apartment from the government in one of them.

As many other residents of Malinikha I was born and raised here. I think the differences between the story of my childhood and youth and stories of my friends, neighbours, people of older and younger generations will be as little as between the interiors of our apartments. We lived roughly the same way: smashed windows, stole laundry, climbed garages, had parties near the entrances of our apartment blocks and in the entryways, sold metal for scrap and made mini bombs.

Other citizens of Izhevsk have a peculiar attitude towards Malinikha: it is still considered a ghetto because of many gangs that operated here in the 90s. But despite the reputation and obvious poverty of the neighborhood people reluctantly leave it – they’d rather move from one apartment building to another than to other area. The sense of community is still palpable here. Every new person you meet you already know through someone – family, classmates or neighbors. The intersection of lives is what makes living in Malinikha so distinct.

That said, Malinikha residents are united but also limited by lower social class. The connections that are so important inside the neighborhood lose their value outside the community and thus people choose to stay in the familiar world.

I wanted to document and make sense of this collective experience and understand how the place of residence influences people’s lives. While working on this project, I couldn’t ignore the fact that I looked into my possible future in some way. Even though I live in a different city now, I still feel the mark left on me by Malinikha and thus I will never be able to leave it for good.

Evgeniy Petrachkov : Website | Facebook | Instagram

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