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Maria Pleshkova

Days of War : a Pillow Book I Book

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"Days of War: a Pillow Book" is a diary about waiting. 
The project is based on my personal experience. The man I loved, who is a journalist, went to Libya to cover the war. Unable to join him, I stayed in my native city. I was reading articles and watching the news from Libya every day. I was plunged into those events so deeply, that it seemed to me that I was there, too. Desperate and anxious, I began to make this project. It was both my diary and my therapy.  
In this project each photograph is followed by text. The texts tell what happened in Libya on any given day. Photographs show what happened to me on the same day.  
The texts are deliberately very formal, like newspaper headlines. It's a kind of a timeline of Libyan civil war. By contrast, photographs are all very intimate. They depict my inner space.  
Altogether, pictures and texts tell a story about two parallel lives, which can be described as a contemporary story of Penelope and Odysseus.  

Here's the poetic description of the project :
'War' and 'Waiting' begin with the same letter. I'm not a soldier's mother, neither am I a soldier's wife. But I know what it feels like when the loved one goes to war.  
It happened to me - and war became a very personal matter. It became part of my life, of my thoughts and soul. For a while it dominated me. I spent my time waiting, worrying, counting days and hoping for the best. I couldn't unglue myself from thinking about the conflict zone, I spent days following the news and photos. I began to have dreams about war. I wished I had been there. Every single day I was hoping to get a message from my friend saying that he was alive and well. Sometimes I felt it was the conflict zone - not my peaceful city - where real life was going on. I felt like a character in a play or simply a puppet. Everything around me seemed artificial. 
War was being fought out there. And everything was changing: the country and people in distant places, the global political situation? I was changing, too. 
Now it's all over. The loved one came back, alive and well. But I think that war left a stigma on me, a kind of incurable deformity.