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

Marry Me, 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 last year with buddies: “We desired to travel in just one of the Eastern European nations. We decided on arbitrarily to attend Ukraine. ” During the right time, Romain got enthusiastic 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 stereotypes that are same many people in Western Europe. We thought individuals 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 regarding the train, but we never really had the opportunity to start it”

Romain wasn’t just wrong in regards to the love that is universal liquor among Ukrainians. “There is a label in Switzerland that most Ukrainians are often tough and smile that is don’t” the author regarding the task claims. “It was completely not the same as the thing I expected — everybody constantly attempted to assist us, so we also got invited to a marriage in Donetsk. I prefer Ukraine, there are numerous 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 the intercourse tourist whom stumbled on Ukraine looking for effortless females. Romain played the primary character in the storyline that has been totally constructed by him. Ukraine within the task is just a phantasmagoric country, populated just by high blondes because of the title of Ekaterina, that are dreaming of marrying a foreigner. The tale possesses pleased ending: Romain discovers their Ekaterina, takes her to Switzerland, and marries her during the base of the Matterhorn.

In true to life, Romain is solitary and never a sex tourist. He’d the theory to generate a task having a theme that is women’s he heard bout the Ukrainian movement called Femen, which during the time launched an workplace in France. “ I was thinking it had been actually interesting, ” he recalls. “These ladies talked of the important issue, yet not with speeches and posters, but by showing bare breasts. We recognized that the themes of prostitution, intimate exploitation, additionally the prejudiced mindset towards ladies from Eastern Europe are very important, and desired to show my mindset for them by using this task. ”

The show purposely follows the form of documentary photography — here the snapshots are had by you, right right here you have 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 more, Romain combined images that are staged genuine photographs from beauty pageants and model agencies.

He claims that the tale he informs within the project isn’t any more than a stereotype that is exaggerated and its particular primary audience are Europeans that are when you look at the hold of the stereotypes. Numerous elements are taken to the purpose of absurdity: as an example, all of the billboards when you look at the town are plastered with photographs of appealing ladies, and there’s perhaps perhaps maybe not just a man that is single the road.

Romain acknowledges that the response to the task from European audiences arrived as a shock. “When I reveal Ekaterina in European countries, many people through the audience ask me personally exactly exactly exactly how my partner is performing. I’m astonished I thought that everybody else will be in a position to look at irony. Which they simply take this tale seriously —”

The task had been completed in 2012. It absolutely was afterwards posted in Vice and provided at an exhibition that is personal the Tate London. But, following the jury of Foam Paul Huf Award announced that Romain had been this year’s champion and can be given a cash award of €20,000, the dilemmas started — petitions and teams on Twitter appeared, photographers, curators, and experts from all over the whole world talked from the success 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 movie, that might be entirely on Romain’s site that is official not merely has pictures from Ukraine, but in addition photos drawn in Belarus. Romain sees no issue along with it: in the viewpoint, such manipulations are appropriate for fictional tales. “I’m perhaps not a photojournalist, my task Ekaterina is a story that is fictional. We traveled primarily to Ukraine and Belarus and discovered that there’s a big space between preconceived tips and truth. We took photos in numerous places to amplify the exoticism of this eastern city that is european getting back together in the tale, ” Romain says.

But needless to say, the primary accusation associated to your task is about the marketing of negative stereotypes about Ukraine and its particular females. Romain denies totally he aimed to offend females together with task. He describes that the women in their photographs are their buddies, friends of buddies, and activists. “I didn’t plan to cause debate, but we cannot expect everyone else to want it, ” Romain claims. “I genuinely believe that individuals responding to my tale is great as my intent was to underline an essential and topic that is universal in place of one just occurring in Ukraine. ”

The organizers regarding the competition took Romain’s part: “While we accept that Mader’s work isn’t for all, we the users of the jury additionally respectfully claim that not totally all art has got to be at the mercy of broad opinion. A lot of the creative art many of us care about invites disagreement, ” they do say. Based on them, Romain Mader Based on them, Romain Mader took for a task that is risky investigate the hard topic for the exploitation of females in Eastern Europe with satire. And inspite of the debate, the honor will stay their.