"From Russia With Love" Photography Series Profiles Lesbian Couples Living In Russia

Photographer Anastasia Ivanova traveled to Russia to examine exactly what the country’s anti-gay culture means for women living there.

1. A photo series, featured in queer arts journal Muff Magazine, features couples living under Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws.

Anastasia Ivanova

2. Artistic director EA Bukanova paired Anastasia Ivanova’s images with text from Kate Bond’s interviews with the subjects.

3. Katerina, 20 and Zhanna, 25

“Eventually, our plan is to leave the country and move to Europe. That way, we can live our lives to the fullest and stop hiding away.”

Anastasia Ivanova

4. Victoria, 24 and Dasha, 27

“Outside, we always hold hands and kiss each other on the cheek. Sometimes you’ll catch a look and once we had a bad experience, when somebody threw a stone while we were walking through the park hand-in-hand.”

Anastasia Ivanova

5. Irina, 27 and Antonina, 31

“In the future, all we want is to keep our little family together. Maybe if we’re lucky one day we’ll have a child.”

Anastasia Ivanova

6. Kate, 29 and Nina, 32

“Tragedy brought us together. Kate was celebrating her friend’s birthday on a boat when it collided with another. Nine of the 16 people on board were killed, but Kate survived, and Nina was among those who arrived on the scene. It took us five months to realise we were in love and wanted to be together.”

Anastasia Ivanova / Via

7. Olgerta, 54 and Lisa, 48

“Sometimes our gay friends in Germany, America or England talk about their
lives, and we feel as though it’s another world. No doubt they think the same about us, when we tell them of the situation in Russia.”

Anastasia Ivanova / Via

8. View the entire photography series here.

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Sarah Karlan is the Deputy LGBT Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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