Anastasia Petruk is a sixteen-year old girl from rural Zhytomyr, Ukraine. Petruk participated in the femLENS documentary photography workshops in Zhytomyr in October 2018.
Most of the time, our yard is empty. Delivered from the company of people. Its inhabitants go their own way for the day, and strangers have no reason to enter. Therefore, it looks like an uninhabited island. But the details give us clues that life is not alien to this place.
To get into the yard, you need to pass the gate. The tall blue fence, by the way, we put together with my dad about 3 years ago, and then I had the feeling that we were the coolest with this fence.
Almost immediately overlooking the entire yard, on the left is what looks like a forest and on the right – a garden. A green path leads straight to the house. I am proud of my yard. I think it is the biggest in our village.
Four tall pines hide a car and a workshop. In warm weather, my dad repairs the car here and also builds a garage (when he does not leave for work, which is what usually happens).
Father’s almost retired “penny” stands among the pines and birches. Dad bought a new car about a year ago, so this one is hardly used anymore. So I use this car when I sit in it after school, after all, the 3G network is only in the garden, but to just stand there – well, it’s very tiring and cold!
Close by is where the clothes dry. The weather is not windy, and so the clothes remain wet for a long time. And when the snow falls… You could break it. Seriously.
Strange things lying around yard surprise no one. Including my old bike (or what’s left of it). This bike is truly a traveller. Somehow I, by absentmindedness, left it near the road one day, where my friends and I were playing. And what would you think? It was stolen. Yeah, these are our people, they are… weird. I grieved a little for decency, but! After a couple of days I found it in a neighbour’s yard. Without hesitation, I grabbed it and dragged it back home. Stole a stolen bike. Now it is small even for my younger sister, and most of the parts are gone.
We also have a barn. Previously, chickens lived there, but that was a long time ago. Now this is a semi-crumbling building – a regular barn where you can find everything: from firewood and corn to bicycles and a scythe.
The autumn yard has the peculiarity of changing almost every day. For example, a week ago some trees were still yellow. Three days later everything was covered with frost, and then snow fell. So the end of autumn flowed into the beginning of winter.