For arts magazine 'MuffMagazine', Ivanova went to meet lesbian couples living in Russia to know their daily life in this more and more anti-LGBT country. The couples show sharing their life, their plans but especially their fears through interviews put in words by Kate Bond.
We have difficulty to realize I think what they live. Certainly, we know the laws, like the anti "gay propaganda" law, but their words are so hard that we discover a much more serious and more difficult situation than we could imagine. We can only admire them faced with the situation which deteriorates.
Olgerta, 54 and Lisa, 48
"A lot of LGBT people are fired from work.
They’re arrested at protests, put in jail, beaten, murdered, and even afraid of losing their own children because of claims that seeing gay people will injure health and mental development.
Our future is simple. We must leave."
Irina, 27 and Antonina, 31
"In the future, all we want is to keep our little family together.
Maybe if we’re lucky one day we’ll have a child."
Victoria, 24 and Dasha, 27
"Outside, we always hold hands and kiss each other on the cheek.
Sometimes you’ll catch a look and once we had a bad experience, when somebody threw a stone while we were walking through the park hand-in-hand.
Right now, we just want simple human happiness."
Olga, 32 and Ulia, 28
"There are no gay rights in Russia.
Fighting for them feels like being involved in a criminal cabaret show and we don’t want any part of it.
For now, we just want to live."
Kate, 29 and Nina, 32
"The way we live makes us outlaws.
Right now our future is uncertain.
Although we do not want war or revolution, we want to live openly.
In Russia, it seems that is just not possible."
Tasha, 33 and Ksenia, 39
"Right now, we are looking for an ‘escape route’."
Katerina, 20 and Zhanna, 25
"We like to believe that one day the country will be free and happy, but in reality the policies our government is trying to implement do not seem to be ones that lead to a bright future.
Eventually, our plan is to leave the country and move to Europe.
That way, we can live our lives to the fullest and stop hiding away."
You can read the entire interviews here.
A few weeks ago, in the face of the worry of nations, President Putin said the athletes would not be concerned with the anti-LGBT laws:
"We are doing everything, both the organisers and our athletes and fans, so that participants and guests feel comfortable in Sochi, regardless of nationality, race or sexual orientation," President Putin told Thomas Bach, the head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
I am convinced that the words "participants and guests" will only concerned the athletes and their staff so the public could be penalized.
photographs by Anastasia Ivanova and interviews/words by Kate Bond via muffmagazine.com