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Kate Nolan: Neither

Kate Nolan is an Irish visual artist based in Dublin, Ireland, focused on extended photographic stories that examine the nature of identity. Drawn to "in-between" places, she is intrigued by the effects of shifting histories of areas in flux. Nolan collaborates with local communities over extended periods to give voice to these changes.

Ireland – 
Neither is an exploration into the dreams and fears of young women in Kaliningrad – an isolated Russian region on the Baltic Sea – through both image and text. Formerly part of East Prussia, Kaliningrad only became Russian after the Second World War then closed its borders during the Cold War and with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, was severed from the mainland. An exclave of Russia and an enclave of the EU, Kaliningrad is left in the fragile position of being neither a part of ‘Big Russia’ nor truly a part of Europe. This fragility is countered by the strong, independent women that have guided me through the stories of this region and the lives of the individual helping me better understand the links between place, identity and history. Caught between their strong Russian roots and the new Europe these women search out their place amidst these two worlds.


K_NOLAN23

This self-published photobook, designed by -SYB- interweaves my images with the words – both historical and contemporary – of these women. Neither opens with a booklet of diary entries from the women I spent time with and closes with another booklet of eyewitness accounts of women’s experiences of first arriving in Kaliningrad in 1945 from ‘Big Russia’. In between these booklets are my images of the region and the women combined with a handwritten excerpt from the personal account of a woman’s life in contemporary Kaliningrad. Juxtaposing these texts – both historical and contemporary – with my images, the book seeks not to answer questions, but rather to give a voice to the experiences of the women of Kaliningrad.



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