The Land of Fools

The Land of Fools

by Roman Ermolaev


Roman, a St. Petersburg artist who ventured to Amsterdam for studies, found his life taking an unexpected turn with the Russia-Ukraine war in 2022. This conflict led to a personal journey of introspection and rediscovery. Roman’s experiences, interviews with fellow Russians in Amsterdam, and interactions with Vladlena Sandu challenged his views on his homeland. He embarked on a project to explore the isolation of citizens from public life in Russia, aiming to understand this “idiocy” and find a way to break free from it. His story reflects the struggle of reconciling personal beliefs with a changing societal and political environment. 


Roman Ermolaev (1991, St. Petersburg, RU) graduated from the VAV department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in 2017 with Honourable mention. In the same year he received the EYE Research Lab Award for the best audiovisual work at the EYE Filmmuseum. In January 2018 he received the Young Art Support Amsterdam Award and his graduation project Holy Land as well as his previous work Le Macaour (presented at MUBI) became part of the EYE Filmmuseum collection.In 2018 he was among the young artists presented at SBK Sprouts Young Talents. His work has been exhibited in various galleries, institutions and film festivals in the Netherlands and abroad, and his films have been screened at various film festivals including IFF ROTTER- DAM.In 2020 he was nominated by EYE Film museum and awarded by the 3 Package Deal AFK Foundation. In 2022 his film GOYA won in the short film category of the Buma Music in Media Awards.In 2018-2019 he taught visual arts at Gerrit Rietveld Academie.Since 2021 he has been teaching a film history course at CVA Amsterdam.