The " Komi Land " is a series of photographs that reflect the daily lives of forgotten Germans who were exiled to the Komi Republic, Russia during and after WWII. A region situated west of the Ural Mountains in the far north of the Russian European plain.
Since 1942, the Komi Republic was occupied by the Trudarmeytsy Germans from the eastern regions of the USSR. Germans were exposed not only to national discrimination, but they were also denied many civil rights; their lives constantly came up against various kinds of restrictions and prohibitions. Special settlers did not have passports, which virtually made them outcasts in a society, many people including women and children served time as political prisoners in labor camps and were forced to work in coal mines, build railway lines and housing. Thousands of people were displaced and quite a few faced execution.
Russian Germans who wished to remain in the Komi, decided to consolidate. They began to band together in places where they could preserve their national identity, culture and language. I have attempted to portray and disclose the relationship of Russian Germans and the land in which they reside and to show the layers of tradition, identity and history in a region so pastoral yet a deplorable past still lingers. 2011