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“I made this image of Olya at a Ukrainian boarding house, where about 60 girls, judged to have disabilities, lived together tucked away on the edge of a forest near Ternopil. In the afternoons, as the weather warmed and the workday finished, the girls often plugged in a boombox on the balcony and spread out across the courtyard to dance. This was the only time of day when the girls’ attention drifted away from me, the visitor, toward another place. This image plays sweetly into the illusion that photography allows the viewer to get close to someone, to have access to them, through their image. It’s a fantastical escape mirrored by Olya, who appears to also be escaping into the music.
PHOTO: Ukraine. 2006.
© Carolyn Drake/Magnum Photos