Ophidiophobia, a fear of snakes, is one of the most common animal phobias in European countries, but at the same there are many people who keep snakes at home as pet animals. In Russia it became possible and relatively popular after the fall of the Soviet Union. Mostly there are pythons, corn snakes, gopher snakes and kingsnakes, but sometimes even cobras and other venomous snakes, almost all of them being exotic for our country.Often people who start with one snake later decide to get another one and even more, starting their own collection that sometimes may count more than 20 species.

In these photographs snakes are part of typical post-Soviet environments where they live with their owners. It is a story of relationships between snakes and their owners, a relationships in which a snake is not able to share love and affection to a human being, as it’s still not clear how snakes see us - either as a warm trees or a potential food. On another layer it’s a study of photography as a medium for collecting and observing exotic things, a field in which both snakes and post-Soviet environment may seem subjects of interest.

45 images in complete series

2017