Stranger #4 - Olena
I met Olena near Younge-Dundas Square in Toronto. She was wearing a shirt with the words "Putin Give us Freadom" and walked silently in front of a nearby building. I introduced myself as a street photographer and explained the 100 Strangers Project to her. Olena told me she didn't mind participating in my project and let me ask her a few questions.
Olena is 39 years old and was born in Ukraine. She moved to Toronto seven years ago. She presently works in housekeeping but back in Ukraine, she worked in advertising and graphic design.
I asked Olena if she was protesting anything in particular and she said that she was protesting the lack of freedom of speech in Russia. She claims to have been threatened in person and over the internet when she spoke out back home. For this reason, and the fact that Canada is a free society, she left Ukraine and moved to Toronto in 2005.