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Place D’Italie with Katya and Hector- the monkey


I was in a cafe at a photographer’s meetup when I heard a familiar sound.

Two young ladies have just walked in and were speaking Russian. If it was in NY, maybe I would not have paid much attention since there are so many Russians there but at that point I have been living in Paris for two months and interacting mostly with the locals.

My mother tongue at that instant was such a dear and comforting sound, I couldn’t help but strike up a conversation. After spending a few hours getting to know each other, both ladies were interested being part of ‘Discovering Wings’.

I met up with Katya two weeks later for our photo session near Rue Mouffetard, which happened to be her favorite street. Then we walked to Place D’Italie where she lives with Hector.


Hector is a toy monkey but he is also so much more than just that.  He was a gift to Katya at 13 years old and she carried him with her for each move.  He was a connection to Russia, her family, friends and childhood.

“Founding a place for Hector in the room was a first quick step to make the place a little cozier at once.”

“Relocation made me see that life sometimes offers you opportunities that you didn’t expect. And it takes courage to try something new instead of following a plan known long before (even if this plan is not maybe the best solution you could imagine, but it is secure). Something new is always insecure; but it is exciting, it can bring experience and satisfaction and even make you happy. So I learnt to accept some possibilities and risk instead of staying in my secure zone.

I presume you can’t take risks all your life, it’s normal to wish to live in a secure way during some period in your life.

If you can afford now in your life to get some adrenaline, you should really question yourself. If you don’t want this opportunity because you are sure of what you are doing, even better for you.

But if you don’t accept it because you are too afraid of the unknown you should remember the following  phrase:

“Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom” – Marilyn Ferguson




Photography by Ania Volovique | |

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