“They are not just ‘social photographs’ as many people see them, they are my personal encounters and scenes. Every added picture is another chapter in my own history. And when I get asked why I go after ‘life’s unpleasant side’ and I reply, ‘because I am part of it.’ ” – Dmitry Markov, 2017
Through his constant flow of photographs, Dmitry Markov views the under-represented populations in Russia as his subjects. Photography came late in his life but since he became a photographer, a daily photographer, a landmark in all his life’s “ups and downs.” Consciously he is a man using photography – to witness for sure, but also for himself. He is honest enough to share with us his contradictions and weaknesses. He stares at the world, trying to find his own place and by the strength of his images he succeeds to takes us on board with his story. The people he takes picture of, instantly become part of his own story, family. He looks at them as he looks at himself, with no condescension and no moral judgement. He is documenting his life as a son of his time and sharing on Instagram all his pictures taken with his iPhone. Only can a lonely man, with his fascinating day-by-day pictures posted on Instagram, create such a long-term self portrait, searching for himself through the presence of the others.
Dmitry Markov was born in 1982 in Pushkin, small town near Moscow (USSR). Photographer, social worker, journalist, Dmitry worked as a volunteer in the Pskov region in a boarding school for mentally disabled children, as well as a tutor in the children’s village Fedkovo (Pskov charitable organization Rostok). Owner of the Silver Camera Grand Prix and Photo Philanthropy Activist Award.
He started the account in Instagram as an experiment, without any photographic claims.
Everything changed since Dmitry took participation in the Burn Diary’s project, for which he captured the daily life of Pskov (Russia). In 2015, he received a grant from Getty Images and Instagram, provided to photographers working in the field of documentary photography. His first book is devoted to provincial sketches and social subjects. The heroes of the book are ordinary people from the Russian province. The book causes interest, respect and a bit of helplessness sense. Extreme life experience of the author is honestly documented, through text and photos.
The openness and lack of moralizing about a complicated topic – the lives of people who, for various reasons, have found themselves overboard, those who are usually called marginal, is admirable. This project is from there, from Russia’s collective past with its common joys and troubles. We could all be in the place of the heroes of the book. To someone just more lucky.
All photos included in the book are captured on IPhone.
Published by Treemedia in 2018.
Photographs and texts – Dmitry Markov / Design – Marina Gabasova / Editor – Andrei Polikanov
Dmitry Markov’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dcim.ru/