Adonis Diaries

Archive for September 20th, 2013




Touching, Unguarded Portraits of Sleeping Parents-to-Be

 posted on Behold this Sept. 16, 2013


Jana Romanova

A few years ago, Russian photographer Jana Romanova‘s social life took a turn.

All of a sudden, it seemed, all of her friends had become pregnant.

Just as quickly, all their conversations turned to children: things they needed to buy, changes they needed to make to their homes, and the daily difficulties of pregnancy.

“It was a challenge for me to get used to it,” Romanova said via email. “I always try to solve my problems with photography, so I decided to make a project about it.”

She started her series, “Waiting,” by photographing her friends sleeping early in the morning in their bedrooms—a time, as she wrote on her website, “when people don’t really care about their appearance and one can see their attitude to each other and to this life that is growing inside their family.”


Jana Romanova


Jana Romanova


Jana Romanova

Romanova didn’t want the couples to pose, so she had to figure out ways of getting the photos while the couples were still asleep.

“When it was possible I stayed with the couple at their apartment at night to make a picture at around 5-6 a.m., mostly on weekends, when people want to sleep and don’t really need to wake up for work,” Romanova said. “When it was not possible, I tried to come around 5 a.m., waited in the kitchen while they were asleep, and then took the picture.”

Eventually, Romanova wanted to expand the scope of her project, so she started looking for more subjects online. She wrote hundreds of emails to pregnant women asking if they would like to be included in the project.

It took her two years to find the 40 couples for the project—one for each week of pregnancy.


Jana Romanova


Jana Romanova

At one point, Romanova realized that almost all the couples that agreed to take part in the project were between 20 and 30 years old, which gave the project added meaning in her eyes.

“It means that they belong to the last generation that was born before the fall of the Soviet Union, and their children will know about it only from history books.

So suddenly the whole project became not only a catalog of people sleeping in different poses, but also a portrait of a generation of young families in big cities in modern Russia,” she said.

Besides the bird’s-eye angle, which she achieved by standing on a ladder, the portraits show remarkable diversity.

“The strangest thing about this project is that I was sure I would have a lot of portraits of people sleeping the same way in the same poses, but there were no similar couples at all, and I find it really amazing. And nobody has similar bed sheets, which also seems almost impossible,” Romanova said.

Romanova’s work, which is represented by Anzenberger Agency, is now on view at Encontros da Imagem in Braga, Portugal. An exhibition of the photos in “Waiting” is on view at Mosteiro de Tibães.


Jana Romanova


Jana Romanova


Jana Romanova


What Is the Red Line?

Sara el Yafi posted this September 11, 2013

I have personally been trying to wrap my head around this sudden raging wake-up call regarding the tragedy of chemical weapons having killed innocent people, not just on behalf of the U.S. administration and its European allies, but on behalf of the media and the entire world as well.

The fact that we soberly believe that other types of weapons that kill people do not necessitate the outrage of chemical weapons is just another pointer to the mediocrity of the world we live in.

They say “it’s a red line“, but it’s a red line for selectively-conscious people who hide behind the mask of being pragmatic and “realistic.”

I give my third finger (middle finger) to your realism.

Your realism is the reason why the world is so slow at getting any better: we learn to accept perverted violence as the norm of every conflict infused with the debauched manifestation that violent self-defense makes it all even more legitimate.

Why isn’t war the red line for the international community?

Is it because the ones voting for the “right to bear arms” are people who have not the slightest idea how gruesome and god-awful war is for citizens?

They are people who have never witnessed the atrocities of war as a vulnerable civilian as they sit locked in the shelter with rotting dead bodies.

They are people who have never endured the non dignifying horror and the crippling fear of being held at gunpoint for being in the wrong place at the wrong time;

They are people who have never been shelled by indomitable machinery in their own homes, nor known the feeling of being obliged to literally run away from their own homes only to wander the streets like dirty rats dwelling in garbage and abhorred by the world for being burdens; they are people who have never smelled the stench of burning flesh and never had to look for their brother in a stockpile of cadavers; they are people who have never seen the face of terror nor what kind of debilitating damage it does to your psyche in the long run and they are people who have never held their dying child in their arms.

And those are the “realists” of this world.

If chemical weapons is a red line for Obama, that’s because he’s got a political agenda and he’s at the head of the dirtiest game that is international politics that has been set by manipulative predecessors…

But what is your agenda, you as a human being?

What is your goddamn agenda? The red line should be weapons used against any people everywhere.

The red line should be war. That is the real red line.

And that should be the red line for every person who has the decency of calling themselves a human being.





September 2013

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