White Fairy Tales in Photographs by Uldus Bakhtiozina

When we though of what to share with our readers for New Years, we immediately thought of Uldus because this world needs more people like her who aren't afraid to share their opinion and can do it so beautifully using the language of art. Uldus Bakhtiozina is a photographer and visual artist who challenges stereotypes and pokes fun at narrow and judgmental thinking. With her brave point of view and provocative interpretations of social issues around the world she has been named one of the greatest artist-revolutionist of 21st century.

My interest in photography began at the age of 5 during my father’s experiments in darkroom. This afforded me the opportunity to work with analogue film, a somewhat unique training as this was when digital was starting to dominate. My childhood spent in an era of national economic rebuilding, when no one in Russia would consider art or photography as a serious career. But I had chosen by my passion and in 2007 moved to London to study art and photography at Saint Martins College, University of Arts.

Since graduation in 2010, I have been experimenting through photography with self-identity and stereotypes created around my nationality, social issues and genders, mainly producing self-portraits, which led me eventually to be named one of “100 Women” of the year in 2014 by the BBC.

I became a TED speaker (first Russian speaker in the history of TED and the only one at the moment) with the talk covering her fighting stereotypes in the life of young Russians, cultural issues and the clichés created around Russia.

I consider myself as an Art & Fashion photographer who is documenting dreams. I don't really like reality, it looks boring for me, especially in my city where winter least for 8 months with 3 hours of day light, I need to create the world full of light and happiness to inspire people and myself to live brighter! I love fairy tales and most of my images inspired with Russian folklore and tales.

I love to make kokoshniks (traditional Russian headdresses) for my photo shoots, meet people who stay out of the box and catch the movements of stillness. I am a control freak. I do everything myself from the idea to the setting, make up, outfits for models. I even model myself if I can't find anyone who can deal with cold, water or snakes.

All photos by Uldus Bakhtiozina