Katerina Shosheva

SEM'YA

Republic of Moldova

SEM'YA

Me and my four older brothers had a pretty free-willed childhood, mostly spent in an 18th floor apartment in the City Gates of Chisinau. My parents got the apartment in probably the most recognisable building in the city, just before the USSR collapsed. Freshly built in the mid 80s, it became a kind of “visiting card” of Chisinau, an architectural ensemble of two buildings, 70 metres high, that create the impression of gates opening for visitors, hard not to notice on the way to or from the airport. For many reasons, the apartment has taken on the role of both private and public space: the labyrinths of corridors connecting five rooms became a playground for my and my brothers’ curiosity and imagination. My eldest brother Vlad, being a teenager, captured it on Zenit camera in the early 90s, documenting the family's everyday life. I rediscovered many rolls of film in 2016, when my brother passed away. This inspired me to continue the family archive through the perspective of kids, but now my many nephews, exploring the mazes of corridors of the same apartment when visiting their grannies. Over the last six years, against the captured backdrop of my nephews’ childhood, the adults dealt with such things as the economic crisis, the pandemic and emigration. Today, in my family, I am the last one to stay in Moldova apart from my parents. All my brothers and their children, my nephews, are scattered around the world.  

In addition to my intention to continue the family archive, I attempt to look at broader themes, whether it be the changing space, generational relationships, and the cross-section of time through the perspective of one particular family, my family.


Amelia captured with her leg on the dinner table. 2019. Chisinau. Moldova.

Amelia captured with her leg on the dinner table. 2019. Chisinau. Moldova.

Jenya exploring a doll of his cousin Amelia. 2018. Chisinau. Moldova.

Jenya exploring a doll of his cousin Amelia. 2018. Chisinau. Moldova.

Amelia playing with shadows while visiting her grandparents. 2017. Chisinau, Moldova.

Amelia playing with shadows while visiting her grandparents. 2017. Chisinau, Moldova.

Jenya sitting on a potty and eating a banana next to the drawing made by my brother back in the late 80s when our parents got the apartment. 2017. Chisinau. Moldova.

Jenya sitting on a potty and eating a banana next to the drawing made by my brother back in the late 80s when our parents got the apartment. 2017. Chisinau. Moldova.

Amelia watching a fire burning in the botanical garden. 2018. Chisinau. Moldova.

Amelia watching a fire burning in the botanical garden. 2018. Chisinau. Moldova.

Jars neatly stored at the balcony. 2018. Chisinau. Moldova.

Jars neatly stored at the balcony. 2018. Chisinau. Moldova.

Jenya hiding behind flowers while having breakfast. 2020. Chisinau, Moldova.

Jenya hiding behind flowers while having breakfast. 2020. Chisinau, Moldova.

Amelia exploring radio stations when visiting her grandparents. 2018. Chisinau, Moldova

Amelia exploring radio stations when visiting her grandparents. 2018. Chisinau, Moldova

Dinner preparations for a big family gathering. 2019. Chisinau, Moldova

Dinner preparations for a big family gathering. 2019. Chisinau, Moldova

This particular chess board has been in the family since the 90s and has become one of the most popular games among my nephews. 2017. Chisinau, Moldova

This particular chess board has been in the family since the 90s and has become one of the most popular games among my nephews. 2017. Chisinau, Moldova

Jenya and Amelia playing together when visiting their grandparents. 2017. Chisinau, Moldova

Jenya and Amelia playing together when visiting their grandparents. 2017. Chisinau, Moldova

An altar with icons and photos of passed loved ones. 2018. Chisinau, Moldova

An altar with icons and photos of passed loved ones. 2018. Chisinau, Moldova

Amelia whiling away the time when visiting her grandparents. 2018. Chisinau, Moldova

Amelia whiling away the time when visiting her grandparents. 2018. Chisinau, Moldova

A family gathering before my brother's departure abroad. 2019. Chisinau, Moldova

A family gathering before my brother's departure abroad. 2019. Chisinau, Moldova

Jenya and his sister Evy playing at the balcony when visiting grandparents. 2020. Chisinau, Moldova

Jenya and his sister Evy playing at the balcony when visiting grandparents. 2020. Chisinau, Moldova

Amelia playing pirate when visiting her grandparents. 2019. Chisinau, Moldova

Amelia playing pirate when visiting her grandparents. 2019. Chisinau, Moldova

Jenya staring at the TV on one of the visits to his grandparents. 2020. Chisinau, Moldova

Jenya staring at the TV on one of the visits to his grandparents. 2020. Chisinau, Moldova

Jenya covered with flour when cooking a pie with his grandmother and his cousin Amelia. 2019. Chisinau, Moldova.

Jenya covered with flour when cooking a pie with his grandmother and his cousin Amelia. 2019. Chisinau, Moldova.