A photo project about the culture of animal burial around the world  

I am trying to analyse the human-animal connection through my documented pictures. This project started in my hometown Vilnius. There are two places where people bury their beloved pet companions. One of them is legal – an empty field just outside the city, and the other one is illegal – a surrealist place just under the TV tower, surrounded by a soviet architectural landscape, where people bury their pets, though it is not allowed. While documenting the tombstones I was amazed by the aesthetics and emotional aftertaste of this phenomenon and began to do a research in this field. The human-animal connection is universal despite cultural, social or any other differences and I am working on portraying that. So far I’ve documented cemeteries in Vilnius, Riga, Minsk, Moscow, New York and Las Vegas. I am exploring cultural attitude towards animals in different cultures and how does it affect society in local and global context by doing a detailed research on the pet burial places, both official and unofficial. I was amazed by the versatility and uniqueness of this phenomenon. It never occurred to me that cemeteries from different continents can be more similar to each other than the cemeteries that are only separated by 2 hours’ drive and my goal is to reflect that in this project.

My name is Asta Ostrovskaja

I am a Multidisciplinary Art Director. I love any form of visual communication : I draw, I design, I do art direction, I take pictures and I work with set designs. I was born in Moscow but I grew up in Vilnius, where I finished my BA in Fine Arts in Vilnius Academy of Arts. After that I lived and worked in Berlin, London and Stockholm. Now I am a Multidisciplinary Art Director and Visual Artist working with both commercial and independent projects.

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©2019 by Asta Ostrovskaja