Marry Me Personally, Ekaterina: the whole story Behind Romain Mader’s Controversial Project about Ukraine

Marry Me Personally, Ekaterina: the whole story 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 character that is main 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 during 2009 with buddies: “We wished to travel in just one of the Eastern countries that are european. We decided to go with arbitrarily to visit Ukraine. ” During the right time, Romain got thinking about Soviet architecture and took images from it in Donetsk and Sevastopol. “We didn’t know a great deal concerning the nation, we’d the exact same stereotypes as many people in Western Europe. We thought people drank vodka, because we didn’t meet those who had been thinking about that. So we always purchased a container of vodka to take in in the train, but we never ever had the opportunity to start it”

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

Later on, Romain came ultimately back to Ukraine to shoot a brand new task, Ekaterina, a fictional tale of a intercourse tourist whom stumbled on Ukraine searching for simple females. Romain played the character that is main the tale which was completely made by him. Ukraine within the task is a phantasmagoric country, populated just by high blondes by the title of Ekaterina, that are dreaming of marrying a foreigner. The tale possesses 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 intercourse tourist. He previously the theory to generate a task having a women’s theme after he heard bout the Ukrainian movement called Femen, which at that time launched a workplace in France. “ we thought it absolutely was actually interesting, ” he recalls. “These ladies talked of the problem that is really important although not with speeches and posters, but by showing bare breasts. We recognized that the themes of prostitution, intimate exploitation, plus the prejudiced attitude towards females from Eastern Europe are very important, and desired to show my mindset in their mind by using this task. ”

The show purposely follows the design of documentary photography — here the snapshots are had by you, right 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 staged pictures with genuine photographs from beauty pageants and model agencies.

He claims that the storyline which he informs when you look at the task is not any more than a stereotype that is exaggerated and its particular primary audience are Europeans that are into the hold of the stereotypes. Numerous elements are delivered to the idea of absurdity: by way of example, most of the billboards within the town are plastered with photographs of attractive females, and there’s maybe not a man that is single the road.

Romain acknowledges that the response to the task from European audiences arrived as a shock. “once I reveal Ekaterina in European countries, many people through the audience ask me personally exactly exactly how my partner is performing. I will be amazed I believed that everybody could be in a position to begin to see the irony. Which they simply take this tale seriously —”

The task ended up being completed in 2012. It absolutely was later posted in Vice and introduced at an exhibition that is personal the Tate London. Nevertheless, following the jury of Foam Paul Huf Award announced that Romain had been this year’s champion and certainly will 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 planet talked resistant to the triumph for the task, among them Donald Weber, Margo Ovcharenko, and Nadezhda Sheremetova.

One of many accusations manufactured in regards to the task is the fact that the video clip, which might be entirely on Romain’s site that is official not just has pictures from Ukraine, but in addition photos drawn in Belarus. Romain sees not a problem along with it: in their viewpoint, such manipulations are appropriate for fictional tales. “I’m maybe perhaps maybe not just a photojournalist, my task Ekaterina is a fictional tale. We traveled primarily to Ukraine and Belarus and discovered that there surely is a big gap between preconceived tips and truth. We took photos in numerous places to amplify the exoticism for the eastern European city I’m creating when you look at the tale, ” Romain says.

But needless to say, the primary accusation associated towards the task is about the marketing of negative stereotypes about Ukraine and its own females. Romain denies totally he aimed to offend females along with his task. He describes that the ladies inside the photographs are their buddies, buddies of friends, and activists. “I didn’t plan to cause debate, but we cannot expect everybody to want it, ” Romain claims. “I believe that individuals responding to my tale is great as my intent would be to underline an essential and universal subject, in place of one just taking place in Ukraine. ”

The organizers regarding the competition took Romain’s part: “we the members of the jury also respectfully suggest that not all art has to be subject to broad consensus while we accept that Mader’s work is not for everyone. All the creative art most of us care about invites disagreement, ” they do say. Relating to them, Romain Mader Based on them, Romain Mader took for a dangerous task — investigate the hard topic associated with exploitation of females in Eastern Europe with satire. And regardless of the debate, the honor shall stay their.

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