Tatiana Kourochkina

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Tatiana Kourochkina

Beryozka (Little Birch tree)

Barcelona, Spain; originally from Russia
Producer, cofounder of Quo Artis

© Tatiana Kourochkina

Dear Plant, you have traveled for millions of years, have heard many stories and are probably aware that some countries have you as their national symbol. Usually it happens because the native population feels connected to a certain tree from long before its country was established officially. And sometimes this deeply rooted emotional trees-humans relationship can be used as an emblem of a paradoxical situation. Do you remember the country that no longer exists, USSR?

I happened to be born in its capital. During my childhood one of your family members, the Little Birch, was a name of a retail chain, where a vast variety of goods was sold. In no other shop of this communist –therefore ascetic– country you could find such an extensive choice of food, books and luxury accessories. This shop had another particularity: only foreign currency was accepted there. And here comes the paradox – soviet citizens were not allowed to own foreign currency! “Little Birch” was a showcase of nonexistent abundancy for the visiting delegations from abroad and for those few privileged Soviet citizens who could travel abroad.

My green friend, continue your journey and don’t laugh too loudly when you meet some of us. Humans have not been around for as long as you and are still learning.