Ira Alaeva ©

  1. Every year, one day in late September, a small town on the Volga river celebrates its emblematic regional fruit. People don their watermelon costumes, and every thinkable and unthinkable object is turned into a green-red globe. The festival is quite a recent invention, and still far from being a particular touristic attraction - hardly anyone in the rest of Russia has ever heard about it. Among the participants, there seems mostly to be a sincere enthusiasm. But does not, on the other hand, a certain unease linger in the air as well? At the end of a long day, all that is left behind are huge heaps of  watermelon rind and plenty of photographs for the participants' personal albums - of which the pictures of the series "watermelon district" are meant to be reminiscent.