What can a person born in the 1990s remember about the Chechen war? Almost nothing. Personally, I only have vague memories of the 2000s attacks. We as a family did not take our eyes off the screen. It was scary. But this fear was not discussed. Now I understand: this is not healthy. At the same time, it is commonplace. In our society, it is generally accepted to hush up and bury collective injuries, rather than worry about them. Why is that? I tried to restore the course of events, discussing how that memory manifests itself and is it possible to process it into the experience?
It turned out several parts. One is about people missing: these are soldiers and civilians of both nationalities. Of the hundreds of archived announcements, I selected 21 loss stories from 1994 to 2002 (the exact start and end dates of the conflict are blurred). In the second part — they found pictures of the things of the dead people. Their recognition by relatives can clarify the fate of the missing person. Third — places of tragedy. Search queries with hints reflect their perceptions of society. And the cards reveal the reality of what happened. On some, you can see scars and scars — there were blown-up houses. It also collected evidence and reactions of random people. And, of course, there are questions that hardly anyone will answer — you have, again, to address them to the Internet.
In the final part, I correlate the “pictures” from the news releases of that time with each other. It turns out a dialogue of familiar, disturbing images that return to pain points. At the same time, there is a story built from the off-screen text. This is an attempt to explain those events differently and somehow come to peace with them.
Some screenshots of the project are below.
The full version is here.
[The project is in Russian so far.]