“Summerland” by Photographer Daria Svertilova

In her recently published photobook, “Summerland” (Pomegranate Press, 2022), Ukrainian photographer Daria Svertilova imagines a utopian land, “where people live in perfect harmony with nature and with each other.” Drawn from modern-day paganism, the word “Summerland” refers to an idyllic fusion between limbo and paradise in which the human soul waits for the next reincarnation. “It’s a place of endless summer, where all misfortunes and hardships disappear,” she explains.

Svertilova is based between Kyiv and Paris, where she is finishing a master’s program at École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs. When she first began work on this publication last winter, she couldn’t have foreseen how the meaning of the work would change dramatically in a short time, with the start of the war in Ukraine. “Now,” says Svertilova, “‘Summerland’ represents the idea of a peaceful, joyful life, which people in Ukraine used to have before the 24th of February. The life which has changed forever.”

See more from “Summerland” below!

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