My name is Victoria Dini and I am a photographic artist. I got a Global Talent Art Visa UK for my art and have been living and working in London since February 2023.
I work with poetry, journalism and performance art, but mostly with photography. My photographs have been exhibited in St. Petersburg, Rome, Brussels, London, and Moscow, printed on covers, and exist as books.
Combining documentary, magical realism, and conceptual practices, I talk about subjects that often remain untold.
Sometimes I feel as if I am writing one big book from different angles, and it is a book about identity, about what it means to be a human being on the planet. Most of my projects are born out of situations that I go through on my own. And usually, my method of work is to research myself, observing my own experiences and the experiences of people going through similar things. My view is usually from the inside, but my autism makes me view things from a slightly extraterrestrial perspective, which often allows me to see and think about something familiar from a different angle.
I explore the themes — what it is like being a lesbian. Being a foster mum. Living with the effects of abuse and complex post-traumatic stress disorder. And autism, of course. Opening up to intimacy. To break free from imposed heteronormative canons. To sort out my relationship with my own homelessness. And with the tyrant country.
Thanks to my years of journalistic practice I have worked with survivors of sexualized abuse in childhood, with crisis and foster families, with children with experience of growing up in orphanages, with people with experience of homelessness, with people on the autism spectrum, and with many other vulnerable groups.
And all my experience allows me to say this: I firmly believe that nothing is more important than visibility. Everything unseen retains its destructive effect, but what you see allows you to make sense of it, to live the feelings, to breathe. To feel not alone.
Visual language is my favourite to avoid the language barrier. It helps to express the most complicated feelings. And I do love to help people to express themselves, too.
That’s why I do unusual portrait shots, which are mostly about spontaneous self-discovery than about posing.
And I do art classes, where I teach photography as a way to hear yourself and to make life better.
Also, I make things that work as self-help art-instrument, like Resource Box, and sell prints of my works.
I believe that photography can be much more than just a pretty picture.
Selected group exhibitions
2023 Exhibition Hate Modern
UK, London, Felt Photographic Gallery
2022 Exhibition No words
UK, London, PL Photographу Studio
2022 Exhibition “Fragile Feminity”
Moscow, Russia, Marina Balkizova Art Studio Gallery
2022 Exhibition “Honesty in Diversity”
Marina Balkizova Art Studio Gallery
2022 Activist art “Tok Maraphone” with the work from “Being (in love with) women” project
Petersburg, Russia, Deistvie LGBT-Center
2021 Lesbiennale with “If we had been differently” series, part of “Being (in love with) women”
Brussel, Belgium, Rainbow House
2020 Diaries. Loosenart International Group Exhibition with “Mom’s Letters” series
Rome, Italy, Millepiani Gallery
2013 “Photofaculty 54” with Mom’s Letters series
Saint-Petersburg, Sol Gallery
2012 Andreas Rost and Frank Gaudlitz’s workshop with Mom’s Letters series
Saint-Petersburg, Rosfoto gallery
2012 “Small festival of big volunteer projects”
Saint-Petersburg, Rabfak Gallery
2012 “Photofaculty 53” with Being single series
Saint-Petersburg, Etazhi Gallery
2006—2010 Publications of short prose in the collections of the FRAM series, Amphora: “Alive and others”, “Wardrobes and Skeletons”, “Tea Book”, “Russian foreign tales-6”, “Vinegar and Crocodiles”, “Russian foreign tales-6-4”
Publications of poetry cycles:
2004, The Cradle of Brothers anthology, the independent literary prize Debut
2004, Evening Gondolier Magazine, issue 136
2004, Friends of the Fisherman, a collection of poems
2003, Babylon: Herald of Young Literature, issue 10 (26)
2022 Inability to remain silent about the No Words exhibition. Maia Ulchin, SygMa
2022 “Exhibition Fragile Feminity”. Good paper
2022 Conversation on subjectivity. The exhibition 'Honesty in diversity' SygMa
2020 Interview about visual storytelling “Photo VS text: how photographic stories are making” (Gorbunov school magazine (rus)
2013 Mom’s letters with a comment — F-Magazine
Public lectures, performances, and other activities (selected)
2022 Ted-talk about the possibilities of phototherapy as a self-help practice.
St Petersburg, Sevcabel. The non-profit event, all proceeds from tickets went to help Ukrainian refugees
2020 “A miner’s bird in the field: how to communicate and write about heroes from vulnerable groups who have asked for help themselves”. Author’s lecture on the theory and practice of journalism and documentary works. Recorded with the necessary cuts for ethical reasons.
The lecture was a part of my nonprofit mentoring at the Summer School Crisis Journalism Workshop: a ten-day crisis psychology intensive course for journalists from the team of the INGO Crisis Centre for Women.
St Petersburg and online, Summer school
2020 A phototherapy lecture on how to regain a sense of body and body support in isolation, how to support yourself with simple selfies techniques, especially if you are a woman or someone with female gender socialization, and how to help yourself experience your days as a personal journey without leaving your apartment in pandemia.
Petersburg, Ossi Bar
2019-2020 Electra Complex. The first Russian documentary play about the sexual abuse of children and adolescents.
Participating as an actress, heroine, and author of autobiographical texts that formed the basis of the play. Non-profit work.
St Petersburg and Moscow
2019 “Watching and Seeing” Blitz: How Gentle Witnessing Through Photography Helps in Therapeutic Work (recording)
IV Petersburg narrative conference “Contexts and details”, St Petersburg and online
2019 Poetry Evening More than three: readings by Petersburg poets Victoria Dini, Aleksandra Lisitsa and Aleksandr Pelevin
(First performance under a real name)
St Petersburg, Artmuse Museum of Contemporary Art
2019 The lecture “Fragments. How Childhood Abuse Affects All Life Afterwards” as part of the “How to Save Women in Russia” lecture series.
2019 Readings from the documentary prose series “Fragments” as a guest of the show “The Fox in the Den"
St Petersburg, loft-space Nora М
2018 Readings from the documentary prose series “Fragments” as a guest of the show “Lisitsa: poems and prose”
St Petersburg, Niko bar
2014 Performance “CameraCafe. Food and portraits in a hurry"
St Petersburg, Fotodepartament Gallery
2014 Charity Fund Mitten Museum. Author’s photography course for adults “Family Story Workshop”. St Petersburg, Russia
2014 Other Worlds Space. Author’s workshop on visual storytelling “How to catch a big fish and bring back a story from the trip”. St Petersburg, Russia
2013, 2017, 2018 Children’s camp Primorsky, Nonprofit teaching photography and journalism in the format of groups. Ukraine, Arabatskaya Strelka
2014 Federal Network of Educational Centres Unium, teaching photography to teenagers. St Petersburg, Russia
2013–2014 Charity Fund Teply Dom, a camp for families in difficult life situations. Nonprofit work with children and adults from crisis families as a phototherapy assistant. St Petersburg, Russia
2020-2021 International School of Art Therapy, Russian Art Therapy Association, course “Art-Hugge. Multimodal therapy with creativity as a practice of simple steps”. Teachers Alyona Burenkova, Keith Loring, Dilya Gazizova, etc. Certificate of training in the amount of 72 hours
2020 Professional development programme at the VI All-Russian Festival Psychological Practice in Russia, Imaton Institute of Practical Psychologу (30 hours). Certificate of Professional Development No. 43/48/20. St Petersburg, Russia
2019-2020 “Phototherapy. Using photography in a phototherapy”. Imaton Institute of Practical Psychologу. St Petersburg, Russia
2014 Russian Institute for Complex Fairy Tale Therapy, training within the framework of the programme for studying the author’s method of complex fairy-tale therapy (72 hours). Certificate No. 17-LM/58, qualification “Storyteller” with the right to teach an optional course on storytelling therapy at schools. St Petersburg, Russia
2013-2014: Theory and practice of modern photography, curated by Igor Lebedev, Fotodepartament Institute. St Petersburg, Russia
2013 Photography in Hermitage, curated by Igor Lebedev. St Petersburg, Russia
2013 Insight Psychological Volunteer Club, Volunteer School. A course of training, seminars and workshops on working with children, teenagers and elderly people (age psychology, team building, making contact, conflictology). St Petersburg, Russia
2012: Andreas Rost and Frank Gaudlitz workshop. “On the poetry of Arno Fischer’s documentary method”. Curator Andreas Rost. State Museum and Exhibition Centre ROSPHOTO, Goethe Institute. St Petersburg, Russia
2011-2013: Faculty of Photojournalism in the name of U.A. Galperin, curated by Anna Fedotova, diploma in media photography. St Petersburg, Russiа
2005-2006 Gorky Moscow Institute of Literature, Department of Literary Skills, Department of Poetry. Moscow, Russia
1998-2004 Samara State Pedagogical University (now PGSGA), Department of Philology, Department of Journalism. Samara, Russia
Works are held in several private collections in the UK, Cyprus and Russia