ONE PHOTO - ONE STORY

12.01.2017

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“We are in 1999 in the summer camp of Artek, formerly the biggest summer camp in the Soviet Union, and the most popular. Located on the Black Sea in the little town of Gurzuf on the Crimean peninsula, the pioneer camp was established in 1925 as a place where the deserving girls and boys of the Soviet Union could enjoy the summer. Since the Soviet Union had collapsed, I wanted to see what had remained of that camp. 2000 children and teen-agers live there during 3 weeks, and do all kinds of activities from swimming to dancing, rowing boats playing theatre etc…

As I documented those activities, I discovered that what interested me most was finally those empty moments of rest and socialization, when adolescents in their dormitory were getting acquainted to each other, sharing their hopes and dreams, longing for (and perhaps fearing) the coming of adulthood. What fascinated me was that kind of slowness that seamed to have hold of them, as if all their energy was drafted not only for the metamorphosis of their bodies but also for their inner life, the setting up of their personalities, the mental construction of their whole being.

Those four girls relaxing in their room in the Kiparisni Camp show exactly this state of being: they were here, close to me, but actually very far from the outer world, as wrapped into a covering, closed to anyone stranger to their world. I was barely visible to them.

In Calvert Journal, Giulia Manzone wrote very appropriately about the whole series on Artek: “the images capture this fragile moment with a note of nostalgia for a time that the youngsters didn‘t think they’d lose”. This exploration of the slow passing of teenage life in the camp led to my book ‘Artek’ and to other projects and books on the subject (Sasha, l‘Homme nouveau...).”
© P. Charton

Claudine Doury

Though originally a journalist, Claudine Doury has been dedicated to long-term projects for many years now. Doury has received a number of awards, including the 1999 Leica Oscar Barnack Award for her work Peuples de Sibérie, and the World Press Photo 2000. In 2004 she received the Yann Arthus Bertrand Award, as well as the Prix Niépce. Doury is represented by the Galerie Particulière in Paris and Brussels, and has been a member of the VU’ Photo Agency since 1991.

www.claudinedoury.com
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