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  • Commemoration of the dead by a family in Bessarabia

    The photograph shows a family from Bessarabia in a cemetery of Chilia Nouă celebrating Paștele Blajinilor (in Romanian) or Radonitsa (in Russian), the day when the Orthodox Christian families commemorate their deceased relatives. Almsgiving has a central place in the commemoration of the dead in Orthodox Christian tradition. It is believed that by offering to each other bread, cookies, fruits, tableware items and drinks, the believers redeem the sins of their deceased relatives, and satiate the dead’s thirst and hunger. This is why the grave in the image is covered with various items that we
  • Secret police photographs of Ioannite community Ukraine

    The photographs come from a 1959 KGB criminal case against three members of an Ioannite community in Cherkasy region, Ukraine. The images were designed as a photo album pasted into the secret police file. They portray father Mitrofan, the priest of the community in his house, which had been turned into a clandestine chapel. The first photo collage shows father Mitrofan dressed in Orthodox vestments against a background of icons, performing a religious service and talking to women, seemingly his followers. The second photo collage records the ritual washing of feet, also performed in father Mit