A Personal, Visual Journey through Brighton Beach

By: Brooke Saias

The fall of the Soviet Union led to an enormous migration of Soviet citizens, many of them settling in Brighton Beach. This neighborhood still has the highest population of Russian speaking immigrants in the United States. It continues to be a refuge for immigrants creating their ideas of peace and home.

While living in New York, Brighton Beach was an escape for me. The seaside community was a subway ride away but a world apart, granting space for contemplation and a sense of calm. It was only recently that I learned my first generation mother grew up visiting family there with her immigrant Polish parents. My mother’s visits were a similarly welcome respite from an urban childhood.

I created this series of images to explore a sense of place, memory, and the longing for what’s left behind.

Brooke Saias is a Washington, D.C. based photographer, passionate about people’s stories and culture. When she’s not out shooting, you can find her testing recipes, on a yoga mat, or planning her next travel adventure. You can check out more of her work at brookesaias.com or follow her on Instagram @brookesaias.

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