While a part of my family immigrated to America in the late 1990s, during the fall of the USSR, a large part of it still lives in Russia. Due to this I still have the opportunity to go back to Russia during my summer breaks. One year, as I visited my grandparents' house in Russia, I started to get curious as to what kind of treasures were hidden in the attic, buried by time. As I went through the many old books and toys that I used to play with, I also found a pair of these old binoculars which had belonged to my father during his mandatory service and later his marine service in the USSR. After their initial use, the binoculars, which now smell like worn leather, sat where my father left them: in my grandparents' basement. My father had left them behind before he and my family departed for our new home in New York. I took them with me to America, knowing that if I leave them on one side of the world I can always come and return them the next year. These binoculars show how my family had to leave behind their old memories when they first moved to start a new life. However, they also show how easily I can recover these memories and make them my own, as the life my parents had left behind is still in reach of us. I can always connect with my family's past in the USSR and now Russia while also developing my future in America.

Place(s): USSR, Russia, New York
Year: 1999

– Anastasia Gusenkov

Relationship:  Im/migrant who arrived as a child Im/migrant who arrived as a child