Artist: Alexandra Demenkova / Russia
I started to do my first photographic projects in Russia, in Saint-Petersburg and in the region, near the town where I was born. It happened naturally because of the fact that I didn’t have an opportunity to travel at the time, and it turned out to be a great advantage – I knew about the places which remain non-existant for most people, thus, in a way, I photographed a parallel reality. This became a continuous quest for exploration – meeting people who live hidden and unnoticed by society.
This experience was eye-opening for me. It made me realise a lot of things, it made me think how fragile this world of relative stability created by our families is, how thin is the borderline between health, both mental and physical, and sickness; the normality of everyday life and misery; freedom and lifetime imprisonment. In the stories and in the lives of the people I saw hope and despair; all the possible emotions and situations that I heard or read of, now were not on the pages of the books, on a television screen, on a theatre stage, but here they were, in front of me, real, the first-hand experience of life, without any intermediaries.
Born in Kingisepp, Leningrad region, Russia, in 1980.
Graduated from the Herzen State Pedagogical University with a degree in Foreign Languages.
In 2000-2002 studied at the PhotoFaculty of the St.Petersburg House of Journalists in the group of Sergey Maximishin.
In 2005 participated in the masterclass organized by Objective Reality Foundation in Saint-Petersburg.
Alexandra focuses on social issues of everyday life, ranging from the homeless, migrant workers, lunatic asylums to ropewalkers, circus and street artists.
In 2007 joined Agency.Photographer.ru.
Alexandra received the Grand Prix of the Northern Palmyra, Saint-Petersburg, 2004.
She was a prizewinner of the Best Photo Correspondent of the Year (St.Petersburg, 2004-2006) including the Grand Prix in 2006; was commended at the Ian Parry Scholarship (2006); finalist of Descubrimientos, PhotoEspana, in 2007.
Alexandra took part in the 14th annual World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass in 2007 and was an artist in residence in Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, in 2008-2009. In 2008 she was a participant of Eddie Adams Workshop, Barnstorm XXI in the USA and is currently one of the students of Reflexions Masterclass (2010-2011).
She had solo exhibitions and took part in group exhibitions and festivals in Russia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Finland, Poland, UK, France, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Canada, Turkey, China and Bangladesh.