Sasha Bauer

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Self-published photobook by Sasha Bauer

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My name is the same as my grandfather’s — Sasha Bauer. From my grandfather, I inherited my surname, my first name and weak lungs. My grandfather has always been quiet and shy to embrace his loved ones, he did it timidly and uncertainly. I am proud of him, although for a long time I did not realize this. Several times, my father told us granddad’s story, but I could not immediately put it in my head. Only by the age of 30, I was able to realize the scale of the tragedy that happened to him and other Volga Germans.

My grandfather is from Volga Germans. Volga Germans are the Germanic people invited by Catherine II to settle on the territory of the Volga region in Russia in the 18th century. When WWII began, Stalin issued a decree that the Volga Germans were considered “dangerous by ethnicity” and were subject to immediate deportation to Siberia. After that, my grandfather lost his whole family and ended up in an orphanage without any knowledge of the Russian language.

This project is a visual statement about my connection with my grandfather through genes and name. With this statement, I would like to focus the attention to the unpopular historical fact about the Volga Germans gross discrimination in that time. History knows many examples of ruthlessness. I would like to express how severe neglect to human lives leaves painful consequences to many people. In our country and culture it is still acceptable to silent many inconvenient historical facts. I see a serious problem with it because we are dealing with distorted traumatised cultural memory.

Limited edition of 90 copies. Numbered and signed
Handmade binding
72 pages + 2
50 color illustrations
1 postcard + 5 other inserts
Inside paper: Color Fine 120 gr
Cover paper: PLANET ЭКО craft 270 gr
Languages: English, Deutsch
Self-published and printed in St. Petersburg (Print Gallery) in 2021

Dimensions 26 × 18.5 cm
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