The idea that photography can transform memories is not new, but Galiaeva's approach is unique. She invites viewers to reflect on how photography shapes our memories. Often, it's the memories with accompanying photos that remain most vivid in our minds. But what do we really remember? Is it the actual event, or a story formed by viewing photos and hearing anecdotes? This becomes concrete when we look at our vacation memories, for instance. Every time we swipe through our vacation photos, we recharge those memories with new meanings and emotions, causing other, perhaps less photographed moments to fade into the background. Often these are the negative aspects: the arguments, the disappointing dinners, the never-ending queues. Galiaeva's work forces us to reconsider the complexity of our memories and the role photography plays in them. It emphasises how images not only capture what was, but also actively shape how we remember and interact with the past. This notion gains additional complexity when family trauma is involved. We are increasingly learning about the nature of intergenerational trauma. Artists can offer a unique perspective on our understanding of the ways (psychologically but also epigenetically) trauma is passed down, and, in this case, reshaped.
On Voordekunst, Galiaeva writes: “As a child and family member of victims of war, the Holocaust, and Gulag and labor camps, I know how extended trauma works its way through generations. In my work, I tried to create a world where we do not deny the traumas, but live with them as well and happily as possible, so that we can heal. Through love, empathy, and support for each other, and by continually rewriting the autobiographical story. This is my tool, my driving force, my comfort, and my hope, and I would like to share it. Our survival strategy may also help others.”