7 Rooms, Rafal Milach’s newest book, published by Kehrer Verlag, is the culmination of a long term and intimate view of modern-day Russia. Over the course of six years, Milach photographed seven young Russians through Moscow, Yekaterinburg and Krasnoyarsk, and became drawn to the “people, food, drunkenness, taxi music and landscape.” Curator Liza Faktor describes Milach’s subjects as “in their 30s, they are intermediates between the ineradicable Soviet mentality and the increasingly anxious Russian mind of today. Milach’s search is the kind which is almost impossible to visualize. And yet, what he has here, in this book, is a fascinating and subtle journey into the loss of direction, into the sad and beautiful connection with our country. You would be surprised that in all the richness of the Russian language, where there is a separate word for everything, the word ‘country’ means both the territory and the government.”
Gala: I like Russia because it’s unpredictable. You never know what’s going to happen when you wake up in the morning.
Pregnant Gala posing for portrait in her room.
Lera Stas’ wife / Krasnoyarsk
Vasya: Nowadays it’s different from in the Soyuz. I remember how my aunt, who worked at the Soviet Ministry of Culture, used to organize balls in Sverdlovsk. A neckline lower than the seventh vertebra was regarded as pornography, but now even if you ran about the stage with your tits bare, no one would say a word. These days people feel freer. The difference is that once upon a time people knew what they had to say, but they couldn’t say it. Now you can say anything, but no one knows what to say.