Psychologically Complex Photo Portraits of Historical Reenactors in Russia

Live action role-playing isn’t just for Americans. In an ongoing project called Internal Wars, Russian photographer Sergey Novikov takes portraits of Moscow residents who retreat from the city on the weekends to dress up in the garb of various historical eras’ warriors and townsfolk and fight battles. “They are very organic in their imagined form which makes me wonder what real life is like for them,” writes Novikov, and the tension between these men’s fantasy world and their daily existence is palpable in photos where gallant poses often contrast with facial expressions that reveal their subject’s vulnerability. Click through to see some of our favorite images from Internal Wars, which we discovered via Feature Shoot, and visit Novikov’s website to see more of his work.

Photo credit: Sergey Novikov