It seems that for a lot of Russians, it’s a state of chaos – everything’s changing, nothing is solidified and the past is long forgotten. Badlands was a way for us to explore the Russian reality, to search for a way to express how we see our surroundings, to find something that we feel is real. Most young people I know are searching for a way to find images that look truthful – to express what they see on an everyday basis. But it’s difficult to do that in a place that still hasn’t decided how to, or doesn’t want to, find its own visual representation. I think, in general, in Russia, there is a problem with reality and with truth. If you look at Russian pop culture, you see a dichotomy between what life looks like and what it really is. And that’s something we wanted to talk about.
The project was first a commission for a designer who gave us total freedom, which turned into a director’s cut and later, a short film. We had to present a fur coat, whose style really reminded us of the ‘90s: a glamorous and kitschy lifestyle. Once Halt, from Lumpen, became our main character everything came together: a bandit’s reality, now dead on the street with nothing left except for his past. Maybe it could be called nostalgic – at least for the character.