Igor Samolet shot the series ‘Be Happy’ between 2011 and 2014 in a small city on the North of Russia with a population of about one hundred thousand citizens. He portrayed a group of young people who once went to school, to university, who even graduated but nevertheless got struck by the desolate social circumstances they’ve come from. Samolet states: “They didn’t fight the conditions; they tried to ignore them under the affect of alcohol and permanent celebration.”
The photographer didn’t want to turn this project into a social drama, he rather aimed to focus on the feelings that are so important in a young age – love and friendship. He says: “The guys’ youth, openness, and eagerness with which they had lived every single day attracted me. I thought they could endlessly run, jump, drink, and have sex.” You can read more about the story and view all images over here.
All images © Igor Samolet