A happy-difficult. Life.
Since some time ago I have been dreaming about reaching out to the real freedom, I knew that it existed, that it was possible to immerse myself into it, to enjoy it for a while. Since moving to metropolis my desire for freedom has intensified because if you live in a big city, in the constant noise and enormous flow of information, it becomes impossible, to identify yourself, to take a deep breath and just to relax. I knew that the Territory of Freedom exists, like the distant and mysterious country of Shambhala, a holy place. And who would have thought that I would find it one day.
The journey to mysterious places of the Altai Territory turned out to become a real adventure for me, an adventurous journey that has just started. I’m sure, that from year to year I will be finding some time to rediscover Altai and its people over and over again. This experience is valuable to me because it always feels like a revolution in my consciousness; it leads to the reassessment of my values, when something important and fundamental bursts from deep inside.
After spending some time there, among those people, you involuntarily start thinking about what it is that makes people live where they live?
After all, nowadays everyone is free to choose to live wherever they want. Some people are attracted by noise and a frenzied pace of a huge city, while others seek to retire in silence.
More understandable is the desire of the majority of people to escape from the backwoods and to move to the metropolis, where life seems to be much more comfortable, where there are more opportunities for improving the living standards. But what is it that drives people who don’t feel like leaving their quiet homes and choose to live at a completely different pace, even though it sometimes proves to be rather difficult.
Altai, or rather that part of it, which is shown in my project – this is the place where people survive on subsistence farming, where the living conditions are very much different from a comfortable urban life and people have to rely only on themselves to earn a livelihood and to have a roof over their heads.
In our high-tech time people have fewer and fewer opportunities to keep up high living standards; they have to work hard to make sure that they can survive there tomorrow. So, it seems to be even more surprising that, despite all the difficulties of such a life, people continue to live in these conditions and more than that, they love and accept their lives as they are.
What is it that motivates them: a conscious choice, a habit, desperation, acceptance or humility, love for their homeland, despair or inability to adapt to the life in the urban rhythm? Or, maybe they do not leave because they have got used to the feeling of spaciousness and to the fresh air; because the very thought of "imprisoning" themselves in the city apartments like in cages is like death for them; and that’s why, in order to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, they are ready to overcome such difficulties, which we, urban residents, often consider as insurmountable.
Perhaps we, the city inhabitants, will never understand their desire to live this difficult, but still free life, to give up the endless race for the illusory success in big cities. Apparently, it seems to be true, and this question is still to be discussed.
But now I’m going to let everyone answer all their questions themselves and to comprehend the meaning of what they have seen. As for me, visualization is the only possible way to communicate. In my opinion, it is as unbiased as possible, so everyone will perceive something different than the others.