Marry Me Personally, Ekaterina: The Tale Behind Romain Mader’s Controversial Project about Ukraine

Marry Me Personally, Ekaterina: The Tale Behind Romain Mader’s Controversial Project about Ukraine

Photographer, musician. Examined in the University of Arts & Design Lausanne in Switzerland. More often than not plays the primary character in their tasks. Had solo and group exhibitions in Switzerland, Britain, France Denmark, and Italy. Winner of Foam Paul Huf Award.

Romain Mader first found Ukraine last year with buddies: “We wished to travel in just one of the Eastern European nations. We selected arbitrarily to attend Ukraine. ” During the right time, Romain got thinking about Soviet architecture and took photos from it in Donetsk and Sevastopol. “We didn’t know a great deal in regards to the nation, we’d the stereotypes that are same a lot of people in Western Europe. We thought individuals drank vodka, because we didn’t meet those who had been enthusiastic about that. So we always purchased a container of vodka to take in in the train, but we never ever had the opportunity to open it”

Romain had not been just incorrect concerning the love that is universal liquor among Ukrainians. “There is a label in Switzerland that most Ukrainians are often tough and don’t smile, ” the author associated with task claims. “It was totally not the same as the thing I expected — everybody constantly attempted to assist us, and now we even got invited to a marriage in Donetsk. I love Ukraine, there are lots of reasons why you should think it’s great. ”

Later on, Romain came ultimately back to Ukraine to shoot a project that is new Ekaterina, a fictional tale of a intercourse tourist whom stumbled on Ukraine looking for simple ladies. Romain played the character that is main the storyline that has been completely made by him. Ukraine within the task is a phantasmagoric country, populated just by high blondes by the title of Ekaterina, who’re dreaming of marrying a foreigner. The storyline features a ending that is happy Romain discovers their Ekaterina, takes her to Switzerland, and marries her during the root of the Matterhorn.

In real world, Romain is solitary and never a sex tourist. He previously the concept generate a task with a theme that is women’s he heard bout the Ukrainian movement called Femen, which during the time launched a workplace in France. “ we was thinking it had been actually interesting, ” he recalls. “These females talked of the important issue, not with speeches and posters, but by showing bare breasts. I recognized that the themes of prostitution, intimate exploitation, therefore the prejudiced attitude towards females from Eastern Europe are essential, and wished to show my mindset in their mind by using this task. ”

The show purposely follows the form of documentary photography — here the snapshots are had by you, right right here you’ve got random shots from Kyiv’s Independence Square, listed below are photographs of ‘Ekaterinas’ who Romain came across on their means. To confuse the viewers a lot more, Romain blended images that are staged genuine photographs from beauty pageants and model agencies.

He claims that the tale which he informs when you look at the task isn’t any more than an exaggerated label, and its own primary audience are Europeans that are when you look at the hold of the stereotypes. Numerous elements are taken to the idea of absurdity: for example, all of the billboards into the town are plastered with photographs of appealing ladies, and there’s maybe not really a man that is single the road.

Romain acknowledges that the a reaction to the task from European audiences arrived as a shock. “once I reveal Ekaterina in European countries, some individuals through the audience ask me personally exactly just exactly how my partner is performing. I will be amazed which they just take this story really — I thought that everybody could be in a position to begin to see the irony. ”

The task had been completed in 2012. It absolutely was afterwards posted in Vice and offered at an exhibition that is personal the Tate London. Nonetheless, following the jury of Foam Paul Huf Award announced that Romain had been this year’s champion and can be given a money reward of €20,000, the nagging dilemmas started — petitions and teams on Twitter appeared, photographers, curators, and experts from all over the entire world talked contrary to the triumph of this task, among them Donald Weber, Margo Ovcharenko, and Nadezhda Sheremetova.

One of several accusations manufactured in regards to the task is the fact that the video clip, which can be entirely on Romain’s formal site, not merely has pictures from Ukraine, but in addition photos taken in Belarus. Romain sees not a problem with it: inside the viewpoint, such manipulations are appropriate for fictional tales. “I’m maybe maybe not a photojournalist, my task Ekaterina is a story that is fictional. We traveled primarily to Ukraine and Belarus and discovered there is a big space between preconceived tips and truth. We took images in various places to amplify the exoticism of this eastern city that is european getting back together when you look at the tale, ” Romain says.

But needless to say, the accusation that is main to your task is about the marketing of negative stereotypes about Ukraine and its particular females. Romain denies totally he aimed to offend ladies together with task. He describes that the ladies inside the photographs are their buddies, buddies of buddies, and activists. “I didn’t plan to cause debate, but we cannot expect everybody else to enjoy it, ” Romain claims. “I genuinely believe that individuals responding to my tale is great as my intent would be to underline a significant and universal subject, rather than one just taking place in Ukraine. ”

The organizers for the competition took Romain’s part: “While we accept that Mader’s work isn’t for everybody, we the people of the jury additionally respectfully claim that not absolutely all art needs to be at the mercy of broad opinion. A lot of the creative art most of us care about invites disagreement, ” they do say. In accordance with them, Romain Mader Based on them, Romain Mader took in a dangerous task — investigate the hard topic of this exploitation of females in Eastern Europe with satire. And inspite of the debate, the honor will stay their.

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