1994 | Moscow, Russia | Age: 41
These pots! Imagine, having to haul these heavy pots with us on the plane! But the red crockery with white polka dots was so incredibly difficult to get in the Soviet Union. Deficit! We thought that having to buy cookware once we got here was completely unrealistic. So we brought a few pots, like these. I’ll be honest, I don’t use them. The last time was probably when I had to make a lot of kompot. They sit in my kitchen cabinets, but I can’t bear to part with the few hard-to-come-by items that we succeeded in obtaining - like these “tiny” pots.
This photograph is of my grandmother. Here, she is teaching piano to the daughter of Igor Moiseyev, the famous choreographer of character dance. She’s a chubby little thing here, but she was a dancer who had to be lithe and thin, so her diet was severely restricted. She was allowed a very thin slice of bread, no butter, and a little bit of caviar. So when she would come to my grandmother’s place, she always felt sorry for the poor child that always seemed hungry to her. So she would say, “Let me feed you first, and then we’ll play piano.” Later, when I was born, her father came with his family to give their best wishes to my grandmother, and he said, “If your granddaughter ever wants to learn dance, my door will always be open to her.” I’ve always loved to dance, but my parents never encouraged it. They had me involved in all kinds of activities, but not dance.
When we were leaving Moscow, even though we had provody (a farewell party), people came by to say goodbye when they could. So as a result we had a month of goodbyes. Our friends would bring little souvenirs - for me, for my husband, etc. Of course we couldn’t bring all of these, but I did take this. This was a gift from one of my best friends. This is beresta (a hand carved box from birch bark), another national handicraft. She had a personal note carved on the bottom: “For my dear Olen’ka. Be happy and remember me. With all my love for you, Marina. March 1994.”