Oe Menia – with me
“I am looking for a place to spend the night. Do you know people who would have a bed, or a couch? I don’t need anything in particular, and I have a sleeping-bag. I prefer not to stay in a hotel, because I don’t have a lot of money and because I want to see the way people live in Russia. Could I stay at your place, perhaps? Thank you very much for your help!”
For three periods of one month, I have let the Trans-Siberian train guide me alongside forgotten villages, from living room to living room. Some Russian words, scribbled on a little piece of paper, allowed me to be welcomed and absorbed in the warm chaos of a family. Accidental encounters led me to the places where I could sleep. The living room, the epicentre of their life, establishes an intimate contact between the Russian inhabitants. In this room, they sleep, eat, drink, cry,… Here everything happens. For a brief moment, I was part of this. Their couch became my bed for one night. This way, I experienced transient, but very powerful, shared moments.
Bieke Depoorter was born in Kortrijk on the 29th of August 1986. She graduated at KASK in 2009 with a series on Russia, which immediately won some prizes. website.