Exhibition for hire :

KATIA REPINA, BIVALINO

  • Katia Repina-Bivalino-Church of Bivalino, not so far from Moscow. Under the eyes of Farther Superiors Amvrosy and nuns living children because most of their parent could not take care of them
  • Katia Repina-Bivalino-Vania is painting on her body with the invisible pen
  • Katia Repina-Bivalino-Playing
  • Katia Repina-Bivalino-A nun
  • Katia Repina-Bivalino-Nikita at the bathroom
  • Katia Repina-Bivalino-At the stable
  • Katia Repina-Bivalino-Racing
  • Katia Repina-Bivalino-Maxim is cleaning after pigs
  • Katia Repina-Bivalino-At the charitable concert at Christmas
  • Katia Repina-Bivalino-Cafrony and farther Amvrocy after the concert
The project takes place at the parish Saint Nikita, located in the Bivalino village 80 km away from Moscow. Inside this ecclesiastical place lives: Hegumen “the head of a convent of nuns” who rules and supervise the parish. A group of nuns who collaborate in all the daily tasks and a group of children, between the ages of 3 to 17 years old who also live there. Not all the children that stay here are orphans, some were secluded from their parent’s care, and others were brought by their parents because they should have a better life rather than suffering because of the economic crisis. Others were taken away from their family because their parents have drinking problems. There have been some occasions when parents come back to see their children and take them back. But in other cases children finish their education at the parish and leave in order to start new life on their own. There are also some cases when some mothers stay in the parish and live there. They help with cleaning or with the cooking. The parish is not isolated from society. A lot of times it was visited by regional artists, mostly singers, but also by bikers who take the care of children and drive them to spend the evening. Children from other non-religious communities visit the parish too. For example those who are addicted to drugs or have mental disabilities. They organize little theatre plays, concerts and games. The interaction with other children helps the orphans to socialize. It helps them to let their fears go away. It’s amazing to find hope and joy in these children even though they have struggle a lot. The story of how this center was created is very interesting. Everything was born from a kind of a summer camp. Where the religious members understood that when summers were coming to an end children didn’t have nowhere to go. They also knew that some children were suffering at home. That’s why step by step nuns started to extend the period time of these camps until they build the orphanage as it is nowadays. The Russian government must subsidize every child from the official orphanages. The parish feared of closing because the government was expecting that the parish was going to ask for money. But the nuns left clear that they do not need any subsidy or financial help and they could secure themselves or with other ways. Nowadays it is sponsored by charity of visitors and from other sources. The nuns became the official tutors of the children many times. However the law doesn’t allow anyone except their parents to bring children to the parish. Not even grandparents or neighbors who in mostly cases are the ones that report the abuse. In many cases children can’t stay at the parish of Bivalino because of the government’s bureaucracy doesn’t allow them to. These situations cause great frustration for the hegumen and the nuns. The children enjoy a lot of freedom; and have plenty of leisure. They also must carry out some discipline. There are some rules and habits like in every religious institution have and they must be followed. For example visiting masses, praying before having a meal or going to sleep; helping with the cleaning. Little children or those who just started living at parish follow the elder ones and that’s how the harmony is kept. Children grow up at the parish of Bivalino and become young adults ready to start a new life, where there are no boundaries but only dreams to accomplish. Hegumen says that he has seen many children grow up. He has lost count and it’s hard for him to remember all their faces, but he feels glad to have done something valuable for them. Sometimes some of the children who are adults now come to the parish to visit the new ones and bring gifts. They tell stories of their lives, how never to give up and that another life is possible. *Hegumen is the title for the head of a monastery of the Orthodox Church.
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32 photographs. 40x50cm and 50x40. Digital print

Transport cost, insurance are to be cure by the organization.

To be established

LeJournaldelaPhotographie.com
Group exhibition Clic’11 during the festival Visa Off (Perpignan, France)

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