Other children

I started to take pictures of children with disabilities in the year of 2014 and made last pictures at the end of 2015. In this project I wanted to immerse the viewers into a world of such children, to speak about the conditions they live in now, the ways to expand the borders of their small world; to show that this small world differs greatly from our but at the same time is so much the same even though it is really smaller. I wanted to show how these special children comprehend many things and phenomenas – ordinary for us but very unusual and peculiar for them. I wanted to understand what these children, who are even not able to express their thoughts with words , think about. What do they feel and how do they exist in their small world? A world that is surrounded not only with fences and doors of orphanages but with higher walls – diseases, physical or mental disabilities.
I haven’t found exact statistics concerning how many children with disabilities are born in Russia every year. But I can say that only about 2500 children with Down’s syndrome are born annually. And the list of diseases is endless. Too many diseases, too many children that need help. Many children never go home, their parents abandon them in the maternity hospitals. Sometimes – on the advice of the medical staff. After staying in orphanages and growing up abandoned children are transfered to special medical intuitions for grown-ups with mental diseases and disabilities. They spent their whole lives without family and parents’ love.
But even when it is impossible to cure, it is always possible to help. There are many ways to make larger this small world, to open doors to normal life, to give impressions and emotions that they dont have enough.
They practise various methods of therapy for children with disabilities in Russia, for example dolphin therapy, canistherapy, hippotherapy. Animaltherapy is considered to influence the development of mental and emotional abilities, to improve motor functions. However with various modern methods of therapy that special people receive, it is very difficult for them to find a place in the russian society: to be independent, to get a well-paid job and be ready to discover a big world instead of living in a small one.