Toma Gerzha


  • Oeuvre - Toma Gerzha
    CTRL-R - 2023 - Serie photographique réalisée en partie à l'aide l'intelligence artificielle

Toma Gerzha grew up in Moscow, Kolchugino, Lukhovitsy, and still speaks Russian language. Her family moved to the Netherlands in 2009. She has successfully completed her Photography Studies at the Dutch Academy for Visual Creation in 2019. Gerzha first gained public notice on the Internet with her project “.ru” (2023), which included photographic work created using artificial intelligence. Toma has become widely known for her animation-based reels. Currently she studies Art History at the University of Amsterdam. Her works are in collection of Cultural Association MoCA, University of the Arts London, Saint Petersburg State University (Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences), Farm Cultural Park.

CTRL-R, 2023

“Generation Z was born between 2000 and the present day. This is the first generation in the post-Soviet space and beyond born and raised in a digital environment. We have used smartphones from an early age and cannot imagine a world without the internet.

In large cities such as Kiev, Moscow, and Minsk people have started to talk about New Ethics, Cancel Culture, and Gender-neutral words. In small towns, no one is interested in this. People here have other issues: they focus on survival, including the youngest generation. Zoomers here are not as affected by smartphones and the Internet; in cities frozen in the 90s, the events that influenced the generation are also frozen. Ideals in such cities, therefore, are built on the experience of previous generations rather than by the rapid digitalization of information. The main goal for young people here is to move to a bigger city, whether that means through study, work or luck. For some of them this path is successful, but most go back or try to build their future following the example of their parents in their hometown.

What the Zs of capital cities and provinces have in common is that we were all born during Putin’s regime. His presidency has shaped us, his policies have influenced Generation Z in all the countries of the former Soviet Union, some more, some less. In the big cities, we try to oppose it, in the small ones, we become apolitical, because we think that the change of power won’t affect us in any way – there was ruin and there will be ruin. The Putin era has not only produced a sociophobic generation of girls and boys on the internet, but also a huge generational conflict. Society, in its ostentatious sanctity, continues to insist: we have no sex, no homoeroticism or even images of the female body, we can’t express ourselves through clothes that are too revealing, we can’t complain about problems because then we’re whiners or failures. But neither the law nor public opinion stops us. Deep down, we yearn for change and a new start in society, just like any other generation in its youth.”


*ctrl + r is a keyboardshortcut most often used to refresh a web-page


Portrait realized with RNI Films app. Preset 'Fuji Astia 100F v.5'