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Issue No. 17 - Enigma

Babushka

Babushka is a Russian word meaning grandmother. This summer, while visiting my family in Turtas, Siberia, I had the chance to visit my babushka, Nina. She lives in the Tatarstan Republic of Russia, a thirteen hour train ride into the countryside from Turtas; the village I grew up in. Far away from the rest of the family, she maintains her little farm and gardens. She refused to abandon her land after my grandpa passed away, and now, in her mid-seventies, takes care of it all by herself. Babushka has adamantly held onto her independence, even after the rest of my family offered to help Nina move in with them, or at least closer to Turtas. She says that she doesn't know how to live any other way, and she has no desire to. So Nina keeps herself busy, tending to her plants and animals. Perhaps they distract her from the loneliness of her isolation.   Photographs by Tatiana Kiseleva

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