I started writing a book in 2014 and since then “Sanatorium” has become a huge multidisciplinary project that exists as a zine and as a book, and is also being developed as a game. Parts of this multifaceted universe are also reflected through the soundtrack, selective fragrance, virtual clothing and video.
So I started to create my Sanatorium project in order to analyze all the experience I had gone through, fix it in a book and call a spade a spade. For several years I ran a Tumblr named Anna Karamazoff after the movie or Rustam Khamdamov
, dedicated to insider Russia, where I sent all the images that gave me food for thought.These were the first materials that formed the basis of the comics.
The process of drawing connected me to the unconscious, and with the help of this I could tune in not to superficial images, but to the essence of what was happening to us.
The project turned out to be much more global than I could have imagined: I was able to study through the prism of three prisons the same mechanics of tyranny that lie at the base of any system from the state apparatus to the family community.
I started with an anthropological study of the Soviet Union and its ins and outs, since such were the clichés of those who raised me. I wanted to understand what was the basis of the lies and ambiguity in which I lived.
I was interested in the origins of ideology, its formation in the 30s and consolidation in the 50s. At this time, sanatoriums
began to flourish along the south coast, and at the same time camps began to appear throughout the country. This contradiction, as well as the colossal tragedy of imprisonment within one's own country, in which many innocent people were involved, plunged me into horror. Reading the diaries of Gulag prisoners showed me the dark side that many did not want to know about, closing their eyes, preferring to see only the bright side of the system.
Sanatoriums were artificially created oases in the midst of a very difficult reality in which people lived in the Union. The camps were the reverse side of the sanatoriums, and the coexistence of these two phenomena on the same territory was a catastrophic absurdity.