Olena Morozova

I knew she would never have children

I first started to think about death when I was seven years old.

Back then, the word was something very mysterious, strange and frightening to me.

I remember that I often thought about becoming immortal.

At around the age of 12 or 13, I desperately didn’t want to grow up. I wanted to remain a little girl. My personal growing up and the aging of others really frightened me.

Still, love-adventure events and domestic matters shifted my focus a bit. Until one day, when I was walking with my eldest son Sasha, who was 4 at the time, by the hand along the path in the yard of our apartment complex and suddenly I stopped, I felt sick and the thought began to throb in my head: “How on earth does this happen? This is how people live for a while and die”.

And fifteen minutes later my husband called me and said: “Your sister is gone.”

I went into shock, and my psyche stayed there long enough, because eight days later I gave birth to my daughter, and I really wanted to enjoy motherhood instead of living through grief. So, my grief was preserved inside me, I couldn’t accept her death then…

Ten years passed, and I felt the urge to do a project about my little sister. A project about exploring my personal relationship with death through awareness of her passing.


In creating this project, I wanted to live and let go of a trauma that had been frozen inside me, to explore my sensitivity to distant events, my intuition and childhood premonitions about my sister never having children, to reflect on notions of life and death, reality and illusion, the state of play in its various manifestations.


Most of the photographs from the culminating (red) part of the project were taken after 24 February. These photographs are, at the same time, a reflection on the events in Ukraine, which had a very strong impact on me and raised and reactivated an old trauma in me.