A Russian Valentine

Damian Siqueiros's "To Russia with Love" crowd-funding project portrays iconic queer figures from Russia's history, tracing a line from 19th century to the present.



Anna Yereinova and Maria Feodorva
Little information available on this late-19th-century lesbian couple was to be found. Nonetheless, they seemed highly inspirational on several accounts. Anna Yevreinova was the first Russian woman to obtain a law degree (University of Leipzig). She and her lover, Maria Feodorova (an author), founded and ran the journal The Northern Herald. They both fought for the women's rights and they lived together as a couple, an arrangement that defied the customs of the time.

The image is inspired by real lesbian couples of the times, in which is was common to see one of the women using men's garb, in this case Feodorova. Yevreinova is dressed in a way that reminds us of the suffragist movement in England in the beginning of the 20th century.

With these images and the project in general we intended on the intimacy of the couple, from a subtle touch to a kiss. We wanted to minimize the sexual innuendos without effacing it. Since a lot of the homophobic policies are based on the idea of traditional family values and reproduction and fertility, it was important to show that gay couples are like any other, and they as well can be the nucleus from which a family is formed.