Photographer Captures the Portraits and Dreams of Russian People from 1 to 100 Years of Age

After Danish photographer Keen Heick-Abildhauge moved to Russia in 2009, it wasn't long before he fell in love with the vast diversity and beauty of the Russian people he encountered every day. Contrary to the stereotype of Russians as “unfriendly and cold” that Heick-Abildhauge had encountered across Europe, he found his new neighbors, friends, and acquaintances to be just as complex, varied, and full of life as any group of people. With the goal of portraying the Russian people in a positive and contemporary light, Heick-Abildhauge created One Hundred Years: the Russian Portrait, an ambitious project that features the stories and faces of Russian individuals ages 1 to 100.

Over the course of nearly three years, Heick-Abildhauge met more than 230 people to photograph them while learning more about their personal narratives. The result is an incredibly comprehensive collection of black-and-white portraits accompanied by captions that reveal the subjects' names, birthplaces, professions, and dreams or passions. This detailed visual survey of the Russian people is astounding not only in breadth, but also in depth, as we learn about the the humble desires and lofty goals of each individual. From 28-year-old engineer Alexey, who dreams of changing the world for the better, to 90-year-old Leonid, who just wants to live, each person bares his or her soul to the camera and the viewer.

To see the complete series, check out the photographer's article published here.

1 year – Alexander
Place of birth: Pushkin
Passion or Dream: Cars are our passion (mother's words).

5 years – Marat
Place of birth: St. Petersburg
Profession: Goes to kindergarten
Passion or Dream: I like playing with transformers, and people reading books to me and playing computer games. I dream of becoming a policeman.

15 years – Sofia
Place of birth: St. Petersburg
Profession: Student
Passion or Dream: I have been drawing since my early childhood. My dream is to fly into space, but if I have to be more rational, then I would like to learn how to play the saxophone.

18 years – Yulia
Place of birth: Obninsk
Profession: Student
Passion or Dream: I want to live until I am 100 years old. I also want to see new things and how they change during the time. I like to feel Russian.

27 years – Yuriy
Place of birth: Moscow
Profession: Priest
Passion or Dream: I wish there was peace everywhere in the world.

31 years – Anastasia
Place of birth: St. Petersburg
Profession: Ballet dancer
Passion or Dream: Ballet.

39 years – Olga
Place of birth: Kemerovo
Profession: Teacher
Passion or Dream: I dream about traveling all over the world.

42 years – Luschik
Place of birth: Ukraine
Profession: Cutting torch operator
Passion or Dream: I would like to have a salary increase.

46 years – Dmitri
Place of birth: Saratov
Profession: Car wash operator
Passion or Dream: I would like to become a director.

51 years – Alexander
Place of birth: Kiev
Profession: Conductor
Passion or Dream: I love the mountains, cycling and being with my friends. I would like to have more peace and quiet.

54 years – Rosia
Place of birth: Buhara
Profession: Accountant
Passion or Dream: I dream of my son getting married, to arrange his wedding and get grandchildren. I would also like to buy a car.

59 years – Petr
Place of birth: Novorossiysk
Profession: Carpenter
Passion or Dream: I like to go to the banya, and my dream is to surf the Internet on my own.

64 years – Valentina
Place of birth: Nerehta
Profession: Teacher
Passion or Dream: I like to work with Russian art and I like music, drawing and knitting. I love children and teaching. I dream about visiting Paris.

67 years – Vladislav
Place of birth: Leningrad
Profession: Engineer
Passion or Dream: I dream about beautiful women.

72 years – Victor
Place of birth: Kirovsk
Profession: Driver
Passion or Dream: I would like to have an interesting life, more money and to go to the Black Sea. I would also like to have a place from where I can trade.

79 years – Nina
Place of birth: Kurgansky area
Profession: Glassblower
Passion or Dream: I want to bring up my great-grandson and to do housework.

82 years – Nilolay
Place of birth: Vologodsky area
Profession: Excavator operator
Passion or Dream: I would like to meet a good woman and to get a family.

84 years – Anastasia
Place of birth: Leningrad
Profession: Nurse
Passion or Dream: I recently got married and I want my husband and I to be healthy. And I want to help people.

87 years – Maria
Place of birth: Torzok
Profession: Packer
Passion or Dream: I dream of being able to walk on my own legs until the very end.

97 years – Petr
Place of birth: Ural
Profession: Electrician, retired colonel
Passion or Dream: I dream of living for more than 100 years.

100 years – Evdokiya
Place of birth: Smolensky area
Profession: Worker
Passion or Dream: I dream of walking by myself, being independent and alive.

Keen Heick-Abildhauge's website
One Hundred Years: the Russian Portrait on Facebook
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