In Search of Islands
Russia, Volga river, 2014-2020

While life in the cities boils, the Volga River slowly brings its water downstream.
The concept of counterurbanization is now popular in many countries. Simple living has become a mainstream idea. Climate change is a public concern. In today’s world, people can choose. The transformation of people’s perception of themselves and their future goals has become essential for many who choose this other way, and vital for building a sustainable and meaningful future. Greener approaches to living are becoming part of many people’s everyday life after the city. Many people reject consumerism, high social status and financial stability for the sake of moral and spiritual values and better health. They have decided to return to long-buried hopes and dreams. They want to build their own new world, and their search for their own islands takes them to the Volga River.

In 2014, I made my way to the river, and my friends, Elena and Vasily, became the first characters in this long, life-changing journey along its banks. Romantics and hard workers, they became my inspiration, as did the great river.
Rivers have existed before us and will go on living after us. Time passes like rivers flow by. Rivers teach us to go with the flow, to avoid obstacles, to be open to everything new. There is always a way out. People in big cities are eager for harmony, but very often the future is hidden behind the skyscrapers, the path is erased by the tires of cars driving by. “We can see the horizon here”, says Elena.