Night bark of dogs is our lullaby

As the Eskimos have more than two dozen words for snow, so the Belarusians have more than 25 words for describing swamps. But only here, on Polissya, you personally understand how іmshara (moss swamp) differs from alyos (alder bog), and morach from balatsvinkі.

Five centuries ago, the Solominka farm near Pinsk was literally an island among a roadless quagmire. But in the 60s, swamps were considered something superfluous in nature. Land reclamation has completely changed this place, and drained swamps have become an ecological problem. The water left, leaving behind dry canals and small swamps scattered here and there.

Here, on the farm, there are still huts with their own “personal” bogs: someone got іrzhavinne (a moldy swamp), someone got an abyss (a bottomless swamp bog).

When a twilight wind rises in the reeds, the whole farm is resounded by the barking of dogs. The sounds merge together, turning into a lullaby: either for the settlers of the farm, or for the dormant power of the bogs.

And here you stand, surrounded by darkness, deafened by the barking of dogs, but you do not feel lonely. As if the spirit of Swamps strokes your sad head. And you understand: not only viscous water remained in this land, but also the calm wisdom of the deceased inhabitants of the swamps.

(from the farm Solominka, unexplored Belarus)

Liliya Hryn is an art and documentary photographer from Belarus. A student of the St. Petersburg Academy of Documentary Photography «Fotografika».