Female Image of Orthodoxy photo exhibition

According to statistics Ukraine is one of top countries in the world in the number of convents and monastic communities where several thousand nuns and novices live.

The church considers them as the vanguard and there is a reason for it. Their way of life demands continual self-sacrificingness, intense labour and praying and seldom is rewarded with simple worldly pleasures.

Taking photos in convents is rarely allowed. Unlike other temples, a convent is not just a place for praying but a home to live.  Mode of life and spiritual aims of nuns are absolutely different from TV shows where all personal and even intimate things are paraded in public. Usually nuns’ live is concealed from sight of the laity. Parishioners see only the results of versatile activities of these hard-working women.

Among the participants of our fund expedition there was an original and talented photographer named Aristarh Amenhotepov. For 4 months the party have visited several dozen of convents, for instance the Toplovsky Convent (Old Crimea), the Sviato Tihvinsky Convent (Dnepro), the Convent of the Patronage of the Mother of God (Krivoy Rog), The Sviato Znamensky Convent (Verbovskoie Village, Vasilkov region, Dnepropetrovsk oblast), the Convent of the Patronage of the Mother of God of St. Mikhail (Dneprodzerzhinsk), the Convent of the Holy Dormition (Primorskoie, Zaporozhie oblast), the Convent of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Poltava) and many others. Conversations with nuns and novices let us understand their causes for rejoicing and sorrow and learn more about their everyday life.

Everyone has their own way to the monkhood renouncing the worldly life for spiritual regeneration. For example, the superioress of the Convent of the Patronage of the Mother of God of St. Mikhail Mother Iuliania (Zagorulko) used to be a soloist of the Lvov Opera House. Since her childhood she had been dreaming about being an actress and miraculously her dream came true. ‘Everything was so easy for me, I became the first in all spheres’ she says. Despite unfortunate private life she succeeded in her professional career. When an accident happened to her son she left the stage at her spiritual advisers’ insistence. She changed singing to work of penance and started feeding the beggary. A talented woman Iuliania devoted herself heart and soul to her new life and became Mother and a superioress of a Convent. Early in life she tried on a nun’s habit and by a miracle repeated the same role in real life.

Among several hundred photos we could hardly choose 45 which seemed the best to us and made the photo exhibition. We hope this generalized Women’s Image of Orthodoxy will help to have a good look at individual faces and destinies, appreciate heroic deeds of nuns and let see convents as pure springs of spirituality and culture.

CONTACTS for partners, advertisers, sponsors, patrons, philanthropists: Co-autor Oleksandr Danylchuk, charity@meta.ua  , oleksandr.danylchuk2020@gmail.com

The Post-Soviet Apocalypse Photo Exhibition

Historians are debating about the reason which caused the collapse of once powerful Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and publish numerous studies and articles dedicated to this issue. Though we cannot cover this question in full, we’ll try to show a tip of the iceberg. The collapse was caused by the frustrating economy ran in the country for long decades.

The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant was one of the severest reactions to human overconfidence and negligence.

The Chernobyl disaster in the USSR lead to the suspension or closure of the construction and designing of 10 new nuclear power plants, building freeze of dozens of new power-generating units at the active facilities throughout the former country’ regions and republics. The Nuclear Power Plant is one of them.

We do not build numerous high-power facilities any more.

The Soviet aircraft industry produced hundreds and thousands of single-type machines. Some of them are used today, the others have been written off or cut into pieces as a part of the rearmament and arms reduction programs.

The Soviet turboprop powered strategic bomber and missile platform Tu-95 (NATO reporting name: Bear) with cruise missiles and its modification – Tu-142, maritime anti-submarine warfare turboprop aircraft, are the fastest propeller-driven airplanes which became one of the symbols of the cold war.

The Soviet attack aircraft Su-17 was designed in 1964 and has been adopted in the USSR Air Force for 30 years. 1,165 machines have been exported to 15 countries. In total the USSR produced 2,867 planes of any modifications.

In 1954, at the height of the cold war which threatened to become a nuclear conflict, the construction of the first-ever underground shore-based submarine base and missile system with the range of action in the sea up to 100 km, was commenced in the southern end of the Crimean Mountains, between the Cape of Aya and Balaklava. Today, the System is destroyed, the equipment is dismantled, and nearly all metal parts have been sawed off and taken to the scrap metal centres by marauders.

Many silos in Ukraine used for the intercontinental ballistic missiles such as Stilettoes are by now blown up or flooded under the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

The humankind is developing the advanced technologies, produces more sophisticated equipment and the incredible number of ‘smart’ hardware without recycling the old machines because there is no time or wish for that as it is boring and unprofitable.

And some gears are still standing ‘on the storage track’ to remind of human greed and stupidity.

Cemetery of FD (Felix Dzerzhinsky) Steam Engines The locomotives have been here for several decades now. They undergo routine maintenance from time to time. One may ask – what do we need steam engines for now that we have electric trains? The answer is simple: since a steam engine is not equipped with any electronic devices it can sustain the damaging action of the electromagnetic impulse forming at the time of an atomic charge explosion.

The future of the humankind depends upon whether we learn to live on with a reasonable, environmentally balanced self-restriction, and if we can manage the rush of armaments and control a ‘peaceful’ technologies system going out of our control.

CONTACTS for partners, advertisers, sponsors, patrons, philanthropists: Co-autor Oleksandr Danylchuk, charity@meta.ua, oleksandr.danylchuk2020@gmail.com