Anastasiia: She folds her memories like a parachute




Christian van der Kooy (b. 1983, The Netherlands) mixes photographs, Skype screenshots, and text in Anastasiia to present a wholly original attempt at narrative sense-making. Told from the point of view of a student from Kiev – the Anastasiia of the title – it is a love letter to her foreign lover, Van der Kooy, and to her native land of Ukraine. It sifts through vignettes of life to question what Ukraine is, and what it means to be Ukrainian, in the flux after the recent crisis in Crimea and the civil war. Deeply personal yet inherently political, the book is a fascinating exploration of how the weight of history comes to bear upon individuals, and how disorienting it is to live through historical events before the history books have actually been written.