I don’t know where I am but it is my home

Ongoing nomadic photo project
2019 - ...

I don't know where I am.
There is nothing around except the sky and the dug soil.
Where do I go among the infinity of destinations?

I don't know how I got here.
Did I leave home to enter the road? Or am I on the road in search of a home?

I don't know what is going to happen to me.
Will I be going, or will I come somewhere, or fall dead? I hold my flag tightly in my hand.

I know nothing.
Except that when I get tired of going I will stop and raise my flag above the horizon, above the sky and ground. I will know then that now these are my sky and my ground, and it is my home because I brought it with me.

And wherever I go I will carry it with me. The flag will fly, along with the infinity of destinations.

I still won't know where I am. But I will always be home.

(Author’s note July 2021)

«I don't know where I am, but this is my home» is a nomadic photo project that started in 2019 and is still ongoing. In this project, I travel to unnamed, deserted places and set up a flag with a transparent canvas. This flag does not carry images — no colours, no coats of arms, no slogans. It takes on its surface the landscape, the very environment in which it had been installed — everything that is beyond is reflected on the canvas.

Usually carrying a flag is an act of proclamation of one's own identity, its separation, and a certain opposition to the world. At the same time, installing a flag means the conquest, colonisation, marking of space, and a claim for possession.

In my project, the flag with a transparent canvas loses this symbolism but instead acquires a new one. It is about openness to the world, about the readiness to perceive and accept, not separating oneself, but dissolving. It is a project about «floating», «fluid» identity, which does not divide space into «own» or «foreign», does not distinguish «home» from «outside», and is ready to adapt — not for survival, but for understanding and productive coexistence. Also, this project explores the very concept of «home», trying to deprive it of colonial, appropriating connotations, and perceiving «home» more as a feeling, emotional state, without territorial or object affiliation.

(Author’s note July 2022)

These landscapes were shot in Ukraine, my Motherland. Two of them are from the Kharkiv region, one is from Central Ukraine, nearby the city of Nemyriv, and one is from the Ukrainian city Mariupol.

As of June 2022, Mariupol is occupied by Russian troops. For more than 2 months it was besieged. 98% of the city is destroyed, more than 20,000 citizens were killed and thousands more were deported to Russia. On the horizon, you can see the silhouette of “Azovstal” metallurgy plant, in the basements of which thousands of civilians and hundreds of last Mariupol defenders were hiding from the Russian missiles sent at them from the sky, from the ground, and from the sea. In May, they were released, and the defenders belonging to the «Azov» regiment were taken as captives, their destiny, for now, is unknown.

The snowy landscape depicts a field outside Kharkiv, my home city. It is located to the east of the city’s border, and since 24.02.2022 it became a battlefield, where dozens of military vehicle units and hundreds of Russian soldiers who tried to capture Kharkiv and lost were destroyed. Today the field is covered with their remains and most probably mined entirely.

The landscape with golden wheat depicts a field in front of my grandparents’ summer house near Shestakove village, Kharkiv region, 30 km to the east of Kharkiv. Since 24.02.2022 this area was occupied by the Russian forces. Only on the 6th of May, it was liberated, but still, there are violent fights in the area. The entire area is most probably mined.

Olia Fedorova. I don’t know where I am but it is my home

Olia Fedorova. I don’t know where I am but it is my home

Olia Fedorova. I don’t know where I am but it is my home

Olia Fedorova. I don’t know where I am but it is my home