Aliona Kardash Project II
Around 2,4 millions of Russian-Germans live in Germany today. Officially, these people are not immigrants, they are Germans, who came back to their homeland from Russia. That was also the reason why they received regular German passports some days after crossing the state border. Their ancestors emigrated in the 18th century following the call of Queen Catherine the Great to settle in Russia. At the beginning of the 20th century, 1,7 millions of Germans were already living in the so-called “German republic” in the European part of Russia. During the Second World War, they were seen as enemies inside the country and were deported to Siberia and Central Asia without the right to come back. In 1990, Germany and the Soviet Union signed a pact that allowed “Soviet citizens of German nationality” to fulfill their “national, linguistic and cultural identity”. A lot of people used this possibility to escape from the bad economic situation, unemployment and instability in Russia and former Soviet republics and migrated to Germany. But instead of their previous daily problems, other difficulties arose. The community that were seen as Germans in Russia, suddenly became Russians in Germany. Everything was different: habits, society, even the language changed a lot in the last 200 years. Sometimes even after decades in the new country, many of them feel a strong nostalgia for the Russian widths, consume the news from Russian media and on the weekend play a famous Russian TV quiz from their childhood together. This project is about these people in transition, who are searching for their identity and their own place in their new reality.