My great-grandmother brought me up while my mother spent time on business trips working to improve our life. I became disabled as a result of an unsuccessful operation performed when I was a baby. I received home education, as there was no public school in my district. I had to learn everything myself. Now I live with my cousin Volodya, who is the co-author of my art-project. I serve myself completely; my brother only helps me get into the bath for washing.
I didn’t have any friends before the age of fourteen or fifteen, as no one wanted to communicate with me.
I was a different person than I am today. I couldn’t wash my face or comb my hair – what for, no one sees me?
But then a crisis moment occurred and deeply changed my attitude to myself and to my life.
I have been writing poems for a long time and was the finalist of poetic competitions.
When I was reciting from the stage, first, I saw the audience as a spot without clear silhouettes. But then I started seeing eyes and faces. They admired me in spite of all my handicaps. And the excitement I felt standing on the stage helped me believe in myself and understand that I am a personality, I can interest people.
Disabled people in society
I think that a person with limited physical abilities shouldn’t act against his will. There are cases of recovery, but for this one should spend their whole childhood in hospitals and go through everlasting suffering. I had such an opportunity, but my family refused to do it for me and I am grateful to them.
I have never felt pity for myself, I always accepted the way I was. I think that a person driven by social stereotypes after a while will hate everything around him and, finally, go crazy. Really, society creates monsters and then fights them, just not allowing people to be who they want.
I do not accept the word “invalid”, I prefer “a person with limited physical abilities.” It is long and not very comfortable to say, it would be good to make it shorter.
The word “invalid” means “improper”. And it radically contradicts my life concept. I will never agree with it.
The biggest problem in communication between healthy people and the physically disabled is that they are afraid to feel pity and sympathy for us.
I don’t like that I see it in the streets and in public transportation. Sometimes I have to wait for half an hour until someone helps me to go down to an underground passage or to go up the stairs.
Some people even pretend that they do not see me, while others say they are in a hurry. But I am not angry with them and I am not afraid to communicate.
If I had always been angry I would have stayed at home all the time.
I don’t like Russian politics. I think that today’s system of power and total absence of democracy in Russia is wrong and must be changed. I respect people who are trying to change something, risking their freedom, public position and doing what they think is right.
I believe in God, but I am not pious. The actions of Pussy Riot have slightly moved me as a believer but not so much to send them to prison for 2 years. I think that many people understand that they were sentenced for such a term because they were against certain politicians.
During her concert in Moscow, Madonna said that politics and church cannot co-exist because politicians are not driven by moral principles for reaching their goals. But church is a spiritual and moral institution. I completely agree with her.
We are working with my cousin at the social project “I exist”. We work on high-quality collages telling stories about my life.
Now we are going to make the second black and white part. These are very beautiful, emotional and positive portraits of the people in difficult situations where the problem is shown in the way that everyone could better understand and even feel it.