European Prospects
Exploring European Identity through Photography

Jana Romanova

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Jana Romanova

Jana Romanova

Biography

Jana Romanova (b. 1984) is a photographer, based in Saint-Petersburg. She got a degree in journalism from Saint-Petersburg State University and currently she works with photography, video and installations to investigate the theme of collective identities in Russia and former Soviet Union countries. As a photographer she challenges herself with experiments, where she becomes a part of different communtites, questions her own identity and explores the medium of photography and how it works as a tool of power through classification, systematisation and falsification, being something that is “created” by any community.
Her long-term documentary projects were selected for a number of international exhibitions and festivals such as Encontros da Imagem (Braga, Portugal), the Backlight Festival (Tampere, Finland), Encuentros Abietros Festival (Buenos Aires, Argentina) «Perchance to Dream» at Andrea Meislin Gallery (New York, USA), “New Saint-Petersburg” at Nieuw Dakota Gallery (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), , “Me, myself and I” by Anzenberger Gallery (Vienna, Austria), etc. and got several prizes and honorable mentions in pho-tography all over the world.

Portfolio The Alphabet of Shared Words

In March 2014 the tension between Russia and Ukraine started to grow high, inspired by the informational war on the situation in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. Common people started to loose the desire to understand each other. Being Russian photographer, Romanova asked different people who took part in the revolution in Kiev at the Square of Independence, to remember words which are absolutely the same both in Russian and Ukrainian languages and illustrate these words for the photographs - to make a sort of collective ABC, based on the idea that understanding starts from the language, and language starts from the alphabet.

Portfolio Shvilishvili

Shvilishvili is Georgian for “grandchild”, literally it could be translated as a child of a child. In this project, presented as book-object, the author questions the value of family photography and family ties themselfs in modern society through an attempt to unite her relatives from one blood line by photography. The family is divided between two countries - Russia and Georgia, - and the problems of it’s members on both sides of the border arise from the post-war political situation as well as the tragic story of a murder committed inside the family.

The shape of the book is unhandy and questions the necessity of a family album in modern society, being an anti - family album itself.

Portfolio Waiting

Young Russian couples, inhabitants of Saint-Petersburg and Moscow, are sleeping in their bedrooms early in the morning, the time when people don’t really care about their appearance, being natural. They are preparing to become parents in a few months, and the project investigates not only their attitude to each other during the period of expecting a baby, but also the way young families live in big cities of modern Russia, 20 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, the country that will be known to their children only from history books.

The project consists of 40 images, like 40 weeks in pregnancy.

Publications

Publications: 

Publications
Magazines: Russian Reporter (Rus), Spiegel (Germany), PDN magazine (USA), British Journal of Photography (UK), Independent (UK), Internazionale (Italy), Geo (France, Russia), Eikon (Austria), OjodePez (Spain), European Photography (Germany), PhotoRAW (Finland), Foto&Video (Rus), World Voyager (Rus), Conservator (Rus), Noble Saint-Petersburg (Rus), Interbusiness (Rus), etc.
 

Exhibitions: 

2014 Discoveries of the Meeting Place, Houston FotoFest Biennale
2013 She loves me, she loves me not exhibition during the festival Encontros da Imagem, Braga, Portugal
2013 Perchance to Dream, group exhibition in Andrea Meislin gallery, New York, USA
2012 Waiting, solo exhibition during the festival Encuentros Abiertos, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2012 ID, solo exhibition at LookOut gallery, Warsaw, Poland
 

Additional information: 

From Russia to Georgia, a Lesson in Relativity By David Gonzalez discusses Romanov's work on NY Times Lens blog. 

Romanov's images of sleeping pregnant women are profiled in Vice Magazine and Stern.de.