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The Russian Orthodox Old Believer Church

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Art That Makes People Better

In Vyatka, renamed after famous Bolshevik Kirov, in Alexander Herzen Library the mobile educational exhibition of Ancient Russian icon heritage “The Spiritual Light of Russian Orthodoxy”  and the mobile exhibition “Guardians” were opened. This event, which took place on the Feast of the All-Merciful Saviour and the Origination of the Honourable and Life-creating Cross of the Lord, was attended by Evfimiy bishop of Kazan, Vyatka and the Urals and the participants of the Velikoretsk Church Procession, which recently finished in Vyatka.

Art That Makes People Better

This photo exhibition is a collaboration of the Old Believers’ community of Vyatka and the autonomous non-commercial organisation “Sphere”. The idea of the mobile photo exhibition received the support of the Fund of Presidential grants. In 2019-2020 the exposition will visit 10 regions of Russia and Moldavia.

Art That Makes People Better

The curator of the grant project and the parishioner of St. Nikola’s church of Vyatka Nina Kozhina told us about the idea of the project:

The art of photography is able to make a lasting impact on us, our mood, emotions, thoughts and views. The art of photography shares with us the memories about the conditions in which the photo was made, about those who were around, what they discussed, what they were glad about. Photography can crate miracles: make you smile and cry, feel tender, amazed and proud. This is why we chose this chance to share these fascinating photos which make us better with the society.

Art That Makes People Better

Bishop Evfimiy arrived at the opening of the exhibition after the divine service in the Vyatka church. He congratulated everyone with the opening and noted its great significance for the Vyatka Old Believers’ community and the cultural life of this regional centre. The head of the department of the ethnic and confessional relations of the Ministry of inner policy of the Kirov region Alexandr Yuryevich Berezin read the address of the governor of the region Igor Vladimirovich Vasilyev, in which he wished all the guests of the exhibition peace and well-being. The director of the library Natalia Vladimirovna Strelnikova addressed her kind words to the Bishop.

Art That Makes People Better

The authors of the photo exhibition Vyatks photographers Evgeniy Tumanov and Sergey Trigubenko were also present at the opening. They shared their positive impressions from the cooperation with the local Old Believers’ community and told about their acquaintance with the Old Faith. This is how Evgeniy Tumanov introduced the photo exhibition and his work on his page on Vkontakte social network:

As a participant in the photo exhibition I would like to remind you that it’s been more than a century since a famous Russian photo-artist Maxim Dmitriev at the turn of the 20th century created for his contemporaries and descendants his well-known and loved by the public series of portraits of the Old Believers of the Low Novgorod province. Contemporary photo artists, thanks to the developments in the photo technique, received the opportunity not to limit themselves to the staged and protocol subjects. Like a sculpture, sculpting a masterpiece from the raw clay, photographers try to create a photo art image out of the surrounding life situations. The photos presented at the exhibition reflect an attempt by two photographers to uncover and show to the viewer the image of contemporary Old Faith by means of photo art. The photographers tried to penetrate deep into the subject, not disturbing the natural course of events, trying to stay unnoticed as much as possible. Still in small churches where all people know each other, the presence of photographers often caused discomfort, for which we humbly ask forgiveness. We are grateful for your patience and participation in the photographing.

Along with the photos, icons and books of 17th-19th centuries from the collection of the Old Believers’ church of saint Nikola on Vyatka are presented at the exhibition. In conclusion of the opening the choir of the church of saint Nikola performed a few chants and spiritual poems for the guests.

The exhibition will continue until September 15 and then it will move to other regions of Russia.