Varvara Lozenko – Izborsk

Izborsk is a large village some 30 km away from Europe. Founded as a fortified city 1250 years ago, it seems to have stuck in the Middle Ages. There is no running water in the houses, no central heating or gas. The houses are heated the same way as 500 years ago – by burning wood. The fortress that in the past stood many a battle is conducting a undeclared war against modern technology, in part consciously, in part not.

Varvara Lozenko





“It has many attractions for tourists: one of them are the famous 12 Apostles’ springs. The water runs from 12 spots in a hillside, and down into a lake, populated by a family of 12 swans. Because of the springs or not, the lake does not freeze in winter, so the swans don’t have to leave.”




“Nikolay and Vladislav from the Pskov Club of historical reconstruction. They are in the IX-XI century department. The clothes and weapons for that period are relatively easy to make as compared to the armour from the later ages that is hard both to make and wear.”




“Son of the local priest, Vanya, 3 y.o., in his family house.”




“Babka Valya found out that sleeping outside makes one’s heart stronger. Since May this year she has been sleeping outside on a self-made bed, dressed in a fur-coat and shapka-ushanka (traditional fur hat with ear-flaps).”







“Alexandra is a church key keeper. She looks after St Nicholas’ cathedral. From her house window she can see those who enter the church. Now and then she rushes there with an inspection, to sell candles, remove the wax from the chandeliers and help prepare the church for the service. Alexandra does not like to do things in a rush. That’s why she is often cross with her three cats. One of them always gets on her nerves, the wild adopted one. Alexandra is positive about the demonic nature of all modern technology. She blames cell phone networks for migrant birds’ lost orientation and mass death of bees.”




“Olga Ivanovna and her bicycle. She goes everywhere by bike – to church, shopping and to visit needy neighbors, a family of ex-Moskovites. The day I met her, she was taking last year’s potatoes to them.”


More images and other interesting projects on Varvara Lozenko’s website. Varvara describes her style of photography as human and ecology oriented, i.e. seeking to restore the lost balance between man and nature. She also believes in the healing beauty of art photography, as opposed to the crude sensationalism of photojournalism. Varvara was also featured on Oitzarisme with Dreamers.