Nadia Sablin

My father was an amateur photographer in the 1980s, using a manual Zenit SLR and taking photographs in the village where we spent our summers. He would print the photographs in our small bedroom using an enlarger and expired chemistry that had been in the family for three generations. I remember the enlarger light woke me up one night. I was scared and turned on a lamp, destroying the work in progress.

When we moved to the United States, we were not allowed to take any media with us, like cassette tapes or film negatives. The excuse given for this restriction was that we could be smuggling sensitive information to sell them to foreign intelligence agencies. Twenty years later I got the film back from my aunt, who kept it in a cardboard box. I love my father’s lyrical way of seeing the world and the memories his photographs prompt me to invent. This one shows my grandfather reading his braille magazines.

featured in romka # 7, 2012