Dreamin’ Irkutsk

Photos: Julia Sellmann

A fast car, a big family, a candy floss unicorn, a wishing well – Irkutsk is not only defined by its past or its present but also by the dreams and aims of its residents. Julia Sellmann’s portraits and interviews explore what people of different ages and social backgrounds dream of.

 

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Julia, 19, Journalist

»My dream, maybe… I don’t have any great dreams like going all around the world or such. I just want to live well in Irkutsk, have a family, have an opportunity to travel and I just wish that everything goes well«

Alexander, 26, Dancer

»That’s interesting – do I have a dream? At one period of my life, in the sixth year of medical school, I started to dance in the streets of Irkutsk, I listened to music in big headphones and I couldn’t help but dance. I did it for several months, for half a year or so. And people started to notice me, even journalists. At the very time I was invited to organize a mass event. We organized a flash mob dedicated to Irkutsk’s City Day, its 355th anniversary. We gathered several hundred people in the center, danced in the pouring rain and smiled from ear to ear – it was great!

That was the very breaking point when I realized: I want to do it! This is what makes my eyes glow. This is where I got to without noticing it, but this is where I was meant to get. And now I know for sure that my dream is to unite one million people with music. There are various moments in our lives: people travel, read books, make love, simply do what they like to do and have different levels of satisfaction. And I personally get an unreal satisfaction while listening to music, while dancing.  And my dream is that one million people get that level of happiness. And I’ll do everything that depends on me«

Svetlana, 16, Pupil

»We don’t live in one of the larger cities of Siberia and quite often cultural events, concerts of famous bands and so on, never get as far as Irkutsk. They stop somewhere, say, in Novosibirsk: the tour of the Bolshoi Theater will never come to Irkutsk. And unfortunately not everyone knows about everything we have. Yes, we do have exhibits of our local artists and photographers, but not everyone hears about them and visits them.  I dream of having the opportunity to see some prominent meaningful exhibits. Unfortunately we don’t have a big theater… Yes, we do have the Drama theater and it is indeed very good, but sometimes we miss something bigger. Perhaps it would change our town«

Julia, 39, Lawyer

Aleksei, 21, Student

Daria, 25, PR Manager

Artur, 13, Pupil

»All my life I dreamed of visiting Rome and traveling to different countries. I was told that there are very beautiful sights there and I’d like to see the Coliseum«

Milana, 24, Teacher

Roma, 20, Student

»I’d love to go to Finland. I admire its beauty, its nature, it cannot be compared with anything else«