Photographs of everyday obediences of the monks and novices of the Holy Dormition Dalmatovo Monastery in Russia’s Kurgan region (western Siberia) were taken over a period of many years. The Russian photographer Andrei Khitailenko recounts, “I have always been interested in seeing and photographing the monastery’s everyday life. How monks and monastery workers bake bread, fish, work in the vegetable garden, prepare charcoal and other things necessary for serving the Divine Liturgy, look after the monastery livestock and apiary. My work met the full understanding of the head of the monastery, Abbot Varnava. As a result a series of pictures was created which will certainly be continued.”
Some of the photographs were displayed at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow at a photo exhibition dedicated to the annual Christmas Readings forum, while some were published in the Polish album, “The Colors of Russian Orthodoxy”. A series of pictures from the monastery’s settlement was included in the FotoSoyuz (Photo Union) national gallery.
All photos below are by Andrei Khitailenko:
Andrei Khitailenko is a photographer from the town of Shadrinsk in the Kurgan region, a member of the Russian Union of Photographic Artists, a member of the “Fotolain”, “Fotomoment”, “Fotodom” clubs as well as other Russian photographers’ associations.
Andrei was twice among the winners of the “Best of Russia” photo project in 2010 and 2012 respectively. He twice became a winner in the “Adobeortophoto” Photography Competition (Romania) in 2011 and 2012 respectively. He was a finalist in the “Berega 2010” and “Berega 2012” International Photo Competitions, of the “Faith in Russia 2012” Photo Competition. He was among the winners of the “FotoSoyuz 2011” Photography Contest; he many times took part in city, regional and national Russian photo exhibitions. Andrei has written for international magazines. In 2011 he received a special award from The Russian Photo Magazine, in 2013 won the “Sacred and Precious Things in Russia” All-Russian Photo Contest, and the National Geographic (Russia) magazine’s “Faces of Earth” International Photography Competition.
Translation by Dimitry Lapa