It is always light under the ground by Valentin Sidorenko

I close my eyes and I see how my mother would tuck me in bed when father had come back from work. He froze in the doorway and his face was red from blood.

I close my eyes and I see how my mother would tuck me in bed when father had come back from work. He froze in the doorway and his face was red from blood.

Me and mom has started to cry, Dad brought some rocks from his work. They were nothing like the once I’ve seen before. Those rocks were shining in the sun with many colors.

My dad was working in the mine in our town which was built for the miners. My grandpas and grandmas were working there too. And everybody knew that the defences underground were barely standing. And the safety procedures weren’t followed properly due to the plans that needed to be fulfilled. It all was leading to standards, saving and fines.

It was a hot summer day, when my father’s friend shouted me over the fences «Valka, call your dad». He, just like my father, was a miner, but they had different shifts. «Oh he is dead» — I’ve replied. Someone rushed from the house in the black headscarf. When the mine was closed, the building was literally looted by the ex-miners. And I, everything walking by our street, were saying with pride «My papa was hit with this rock! ».

Many years have passed since I’ve lived through my «papa» when I’ve got an archive of photos of some V. Grunin. His relatives were selling undeveloped films, that had pictured from the mine, my father used to work too. I don’t have many photos of him, but I can see him in every miner on these negatives. Father did not by his own death and I don’t know where is his soul. I imagine that the mine was never closed and the miners are still working there and live, but in the other world. And my dad is among them.

About Valentin Sidorenko

Valentin Sidorenko was born in 1995 in a small town Gornyak, which is situated in Altai Krai on the border of Russia and Kazakhstan. He graduated from the VGIK — Russian State University of Cinematography with a major in Animation and Multimedia (Moscow, Russia), also he graduated from Fotografika — Academy of Documentary and Art Photography (Saint-Petersburg, Russia). Except photography and animation, Sidorenko works with documentary films using an observation method.

Sidorenko basically approaches the theme of time. He is especially inspired by the past: that located at a depth, but that turns out to be multifaceted and ambiguous in the light. For him, it’s a discovery every time. Sidorenko never knows the subject he will run into: Who is in this photo? Whose notebook is this? And what does all this mean? Working with the chronicle, documents or family photos, Sidorenko removes his author’s responsibility, but he gives all that material a form. Also, in collaboration with Carolina Dutca, he plays with time. They are reminiscing about fairy tales, growing up, and being naughty. [Official Website]

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