Viktoriia Road

Viktoriia Road

My name is Victoria Dini. But in my official documents, I am listed as Viktoriia due to Russian rules of transcription. And there’s the law in Britain: all must be named the same way. It is called “the requiring consistency between official documents”. That’s why my British ID turns my quite British name to be written not correctly.

As I walk through the streets of London, I see them all written by my name as a spell, a magic spell. But mine’s not working. It feels like something holding me back. Or is it my legacy, huh? 

Call me by my name, but what is mine, I need to figure it out. It is lost in translation. Somedays I think maybe it can become my own magic spell

2

I work with identity as a micro-model of space

and in emigration, it became clear that my primary identity is a bookish

and my entire childhood was woven from translated books, mostly English

so I came to a strange land for the first time — but it turns out to be my native land, like forgotten fairy tales, like a child’s cradle

I came here literally knowing nothing about it in reality, but yet I KNOW

3

Red, Royal Mail Red, the colour of buses and fire hydrants.

Bright in summer and deeply warming in winter like fire.

People-drivers on buses raise their hand, saying goodbye to the people-passengers, at each station.

People-passengers raise their hand at stops to let the bus in. Those are the rules.

I raise my hand,

to touch

4

“Did you know that there are tribes where they believe that a person is reborn in the course of life? They even give themselves new names.”

5

I feel so blessed here, in the Mother of Myths, in the Nature of my childhood books, in the place which I never expected to see and still so familiar

So close, so native

I weave myself into your herbs and walls, earth and air like a braid

Let my tongue praise your language

my country of blood is Ukraine, my country of born is Moldova, my country of raise is Russia

my country of home is books and visions

and I tell you the story in my native from the no-belonger

2023 — ongoing

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