Vladimir Ryazantsov, known simply as Vlad , is the subject of today’s Sunday Session.
Born in Ukraine, Vlad moved with his family to South-West London at the age of 15. He went to boarding school, then moved to Edinburgh to further his studies. Now he lives just off Battersea Park, where we meet. I find Vlad on the edge of the park, looking fresh faced . He said he hadn’t been out last night which is always good for my photos.
We stroll through the park. There is a golden wintery light, leaves are falling, people are going about their business. Vlad tells me that the park is a place where he regularly exercises. He takes an early morning run finishing up by the river, then jumps on the train to Liverpool St. where he works. Arriving at work he showers and changes into a fresh shirt. Vlad is beaming as he tells me this and I find myself agreeing that this a great way to start the day. Along with this comes a gentle smugness; that you’ve already had a work-out before starting work.
We briefly talk about his father who was born in the U.S.S.R, but after the 1991 break up of the Soviet Union, he and his comrades were given Ukrainian Passports. Vlad tells me that after this time, the population of Ukraine fell sharply from 51 million down to a present day 45 million. We go through the park and continue on to the river. The light is still bright but failing…it’s cold but we talk about the fact that winter is fresh and invigorating.