Sergei Stroitelev

Photographer
  
Inside I See
Location: Chisinau
Nationality: Russian
Biography: I am a freelance photographer and visual artist based in Saint-Petersburg, Russia working with National Geographic Russia, VICE UK/USA, De Volkskrant, Takie Dela, Meduza, Novaya Gazeta, others. My photographic practice primarily focuses on the... MORE
Public Story
Inside I See
Copyright Sergei Stroitelev 2022
Updated Mar 2022
The project was completed in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, in co-operation with the Association for Blind People. It involved 12 blind/partially sighted young people residing in the city.

The idea of the project was to give single-use cameras to the city’s youth and ask them to take pictures of the things and people they wanted to see but could not because of their blindness. I always believed that the blind people have increased sensitivity to the environment around them and a rich inner world and by the means of photography I wanted to prove it. I was also sure that it was not necessary to have perfect vision to make good photographs,

During the first meeting with the participants I distributed the cameras and conducted a small orientation class in order to explain to them how to use the cameras. I gave the young people a week to finish their rolls. After that, we met again and had a discussion about the experience they had. I collected the cameras for to develop the film. We all waited for the results with great impatience.

After four days of I finally got the images and I was astonished by them. The pictures of the participants displayed very simple things in quite an artistic manner–sky, trees, water, cityscapes, friends and family members–the things sighted people see every single day. However, we do not even think about the fact that some people are deprived of this opportunity. The images I had were full of sense and feeling.

Sometimes blind people are not understood by the sighted part of society, and are even discriminated against by it. The result of the project–brilliant images by the participants–should stand as testament that despite a disability to see, blind people are very sensitive and smart. They need support and assistance from the community to develop the talents they have. I also hope that after seeing the images sighted people will understand that they have a gift–to see–and they must cherish it.

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