Sarah Blesener is a documentary photographer based in New York City. Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, she studied Linguistics and Youth Development at North Central University. While in University, she worked as a photographer for the organization...
Danila Vasilchyk (12) from Luxovitsy. Военно-Исторический Лагерь Бородино 2016, the Historical-War Camp, in Borodino, Russia. 29 July 2016. The camp is free for all students to attend. Borodino is famous for a battle fought on 7 Sep 1812 - the deadliest day of the Napoleonic Wars. 350 adolescents are in attendance, ranging in ages from 11 to 17, and lasts throughout the summer. Students learn a variety of skills from tactical training in handguns, loading and unloading automatic guns, physical endurance, knife throwing, and others.
Portraits of adolescents attending the Historical-War Camp in Borodino, Russia, summer of 2016.
Borodino is famous for a battle fought on 7 Sep 1812 - the deadliest day of the Napoleonic Wars. Each summer, Borodino hosts an historical war camp for students from around Russia. 350 adolescents are in attendance, ranging in ages from 11 to 16, and lasts throughout the summer. The camp is free for all to attend. Students learn a variety of skills from tactical training in handguns, loading and unloading automatic guns, physical endurance, knife throwing, and others. The project statement of the camp says: "To awaken in the younger generation a keen interest in the history of the Fatherland, the glorious deeds of our ancestors, to facilitate the expansion of military-historical knowledge."
This portrait series is part of a personal long-term project on patriotic education and nationalism that I began in April of 2016. Over 200,000 youth in Russia are currently enrolled in patriotic clubs, with 10,000 in Moscow alone. Each club functions independently with their own structures and philosophies. In 2015, a proposed program from the Russian government entitled the “Patriotic Education of Russian Citizens in 2016-2020” called for an eight percent increase in patriotic youth within the next ten years, and a ten percent increase in new recruits for the Russian armed forces. My aim is to use still imagery to look at patriotic education and youth movements in Russia, revolving around non-governmental organizations such as military-patriotic clubs, military sports associations, and patriotic clubs under the Russian Orthodox Church.