Birth of a Nation (photo's)


Photographic series of 21 inkjet prints

41 x 51 cm


The series portrays young students from a unique cadet boardingschool in Moscow, where girls from age 11-17 are educated to become model citizens, ideal patriots and perfect women. The school is part of Vladimir Putin’s patriottic education, where young girls are indoctrinated and transformed into propagandatools. They march in parade uniforms, do field exercises, take part in target practice and learn how to cook, sow and do their hair.

In the photographic series the girls, in military uniform, are photographed from behind. Just one girls looks straight into the camera. All cadets wear huge, fluffy, white ribbons that seem to be at odds with the austerity of their miltary uniforms. They become an army of girls, the imposed image of a woman-warrior, emphasizing the uniformity and power of the collective. At the same time, because of the small differences in poses and hairstyles, the series celebrates the everpresent power of the individual.

In the present political situation in Russia, it is interesting to see how the perfect young supporters as carefully created by Putin’s regime. Do these girls really know what they are doing and if this is even possible at this age?

01.Birth of a Nation, 2012
03.Birth of a Nation:Daya Cahen #1
05.Birth of a Nation:Daya Cahen #3
02.Birth of a Nation, 2012
04.Birth of a Nation:Daya Cahen #2
Birth of a Nation:Daya Cahen #9
Birth of a Nation:Daya Cahen #8
Birth of a Nation:Daya Cahen #4
4 beelden birth pohoto
Birth of a Nation:Daya Cahen #7
10.Birth of a Nation:Daya Cahen #9

Installation views

Flatland Gallery, NL / 38CC, NL           

Lodz Photography Festival, Poland

Labor Budapest, Hungary 

Kunsthal Citroen, NL