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Diary Entries


Georgs Avetisjans
Diary Entries | Motherland. Far Beyond the Polar Circle


During Georgs' journey to Siberia in 2019-2020, he was writing a personal diary and reflecting on his thoughts, observations, and the process of making the work "Motherland. Far Beyond the Polar Circle".

It was his journey through the past on the railroad tracks of exile. His destination was Igarka - a town in the Far North of Siberia where his mom was born in 1952, and his grandma spent 15 years in exile. She was deported in 1941 from Latvia.

The book "Motherland. Far Beyond the Polar Circle" became a visual and investigative journey to understand secrets guarded in the past. Using a Soviet-made medium format camera, the Salut, he narrates the story of a town built upon the bones of Soviet prisoners 163 kilometres above the Arctic Circle, where many deportees once lived. Considered enemies of the USSR, many were taken to the Gulags and left to die from cold, starvation, and poverty.

He has experienced the seemingly infinite landscapes of Northern Siberia and the Yenisei River surrounding the town and meeting its inhabitants. While often romanticized by ordinary Russians, this vast expanse holds many recollections he excavates and brings to the surface.

Motherland is the second book of his trilogy. Each part deals separately with the notions and meanings of Homeland, Motherland, and Fatherland from a deeply personal and autobiographical perspective. All three parts are multi-layered photographic narratives in the form of a photobook with cross-references linking to additionally inserted stories connected to the subjects and landscape.

The book is in English. Designed, written and edited by Georgs Avetisjans, proofread by Carolyn Rose Anhalt and supported by Antalis AS.


Georgs Avetisjans (*1985) is a Latvian-born lens-based visual storyteller, designer, and bookmaker. He received his MA in Photography from the University of Brighton (UK) in 2016. He was nominated for Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award, received the Riga Photography Biennial Award, the Poznań Photo Diploma Award, the Magnum Photos Graduate Photographers' Award, and has been selected for Plat(t)form at Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland. He is one of the artists for the 3rd and 4th cycles of PARALLEL - European Photo Based Platform and Docking Station in Amsterdam. He participates in the International Summer School of Photography (ISSP). Through rigorous research, his work looks at contemporary stories through a historical lens. He has been participating in international shows since 2015. "Motherland. Far Beyond the Polar Circle" was previously shown in group exhibitions in Switzerland, Luxembourg, Italy, Sweden, Lithuania, Poland, and Portugal.


First edition of 250
105 x 148.5 mm
Silk-screen printed softcover
Perfect binding
72 pages

Published in July 2023

ISBN 978-9934-8748-5-7



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