“This series titled Decadence is the sublimation of thoughts, feelings and emotions that torment my body, brain, heart and soul,” says photographer Natalia Samoilova. Right before the global narrative turned to racism and the systemic oppression Black people have endured throughout history, all the news were about the Covid-19 pandemic, which is still growing despite some countries are slowly coming out of quarantine. Reflecting on the current situation of our world, the Belarusian photographer created this artistic series to hold a mirror up to society as well as to exorcise those bad feelings, thoughts and sensations she was feeling.
Artist-photographer Natalia Samoilova combines fashion photography with more personal, intimate projects that tackle issues such as war, femininity, motherhood and sex, among others. With this new series, she presents her point of view on the global health crisis, how the government in her country is dealing with it, and how humankind at large is affected by it. “At the very beginning, it seemed a quite ordinary situation. You know, we had met with a lot of similar news throughout human history. You think it’s far from here, that it’s not about me, about my family, it’s just some bad news. But it’s THE BAD news,” she says.

But just like any other country in the world, Belarus has been struck by coronavirus. However, its president, Alexander Lukashenko, has been denying its relevance and even advised its people to drink vodka, turn the steam on in the bathhouse, eat more garlic and sit behind the wheel of the tractor in the fields to fight it. “In our country we don’t have strict isolation rules (if you are healthy), it’s your choice: stay at home or go outside,” explains Natalia. “I don’t know if it’s a good decision or a bad one by our government. I just can say that too much responsibility has fallen on the shoulders of each person.”

As bad as the situation is, the photographer is hopeful for the future. “A lot of things have changed, others are changing and a lot of will change: in politics both internal and external, in economics, in business, in international relations… Meanwhile, I think the biggest changes are happening now in society,” she affirms. “It seems to me that we’ve begun to pay attention to those things whose value we had completely forgotten when we lost them. Maybe we started living a life too easy or we forgot who we are and where we are from. Who knows?”
Natalia Samoilova Metalmagazine 13.jpg
Natalia Samoilova Metalmagazine 15.jpg
Natalia Samoilova Metalmagazine 1.jpg
Natalia Samoilova Metalmagazine 2.jpg
Natalia Samoilova Metalmagazine 5.jpg
Natalia Samoilova Metalmagazine 4.jpg
Natalia Samoilova Metalmagazine 7.jpg
Natalia Samoilova Metalmagazine 6.jpg
Natalia Samoilova Metalmagazine 3.jpg
Natalia Samoilova Metalmagazine 14.jpg
Natalia Samoilova Metalmagazine 8.jpg
Natalia Samoilova Metalmagazine 9.jpg
Natalia Samoilova Metalmagazine 11.jpg
Natalia Samoilova Metalmagazine 12.jpg