Feature / Stand By / I_am_in_vogue by Adam Panczuk

Sasha and I were sitting by a tiled stove, it was very dark. Sasha was talking about the Belarusian soul, about how it was rooted in the Soviet Union and how it was hard to find people who were aware of their roots. Travelling to Belarus, I wanted to understand what type of soul Sasha had been talking about, I wanted to have a look at it. I was hoping it would come out in photographs.
Once there, I started out with what jumped out at first sight – the care Belarusians took in their dress. Carefully selected layers, attention to every detail. I thought to myself that my work would be like discovering matrioshkas hidden one within another, that in the end I was going to find what Sasha had been talking about, somewhere. One of the young people I took a picture of told me that “clothing is the Belarusians’ alter ego”.
This was the first stage of getting to know just who the Belarusians were.