«Our Island» project in progress is my personal story where, through my memories, I try to understand my relationshipwith a close person. Also it is an opportunity to explore an unfamiliar place and tell the viewer about it.


Dear brother! You’ve been gone for 8 years, but connection between us is still not broken. In the childhood I was glad tohave an elder brother. You would often give in and share your sweets with me because I was the youngest. When wegrew up, we would part for a long time and see little of each other. You lived in Saint Petersburg and traveled to manycountries as a sailor. Everything changed when our father passed away, it brought us very close together. Then our motherpassed away, too, and we were left alone. They say childhood ends when parents depart. I did not notice how I becamethe eldest in the family. Recently, looking through family archives, I came across a small episode from the past. It turned out that you had beenliving on Kanonersky Island for almost two years. This is the place where your life in the city began. 10 years ago, mydaughter and I moved to Saint Petersburg because once you and I had decided to stick together. The last eighteen months we had been living nearby were difficult, but we used to walk together a lot. I remember youmention the Island several times and we even made a trip there. I remember the tunnel, a lot of stones and the bay, butthat’s it. The memory did not save anything else. Saint Petersburg is a maritime city, formed of 100 islands, and Kanonersky Island stands out among them. The localslovingly call it the «Canaries». There are no granite embankments and palace ensembles, this is a working maritimeoutskirts of the city. Until 1981, it wasn’t even marked on the maps, and many years later the map showed only half of theIsland. People could get to the Island only with a special pass and by water. Everything changed when a tunnel was builtin 1983 and now the Island can be reached by public transport. A lot of time has passed and everything has undoubtedly changed there. As a tribute to you, I’m going on a trip now alongour Island.

All images and texts Natalya Vanina, 2019 All rights are reserved.