2002-05-01 - Photo from G. Pervov Supported by the Ford Foundation. – Sankt-Petersburg
This project has been realized with support of the Museum of Revolutionary Movements in St-Petersburg, Russia, which collaborated on the Red Shelter Committee`s activities. Other members of the Committee were recruited from various social service agencies of the city of St-Petersburg.
In working on this project, I tried to reflect on the history of the charitable organizations in Russia during the 19th century. Interestingly, public attitudes toward charity were politically polarized, with one group favoring the notion that revolution was the only possible way to change society, the other insisting on private charity as the more efficient method.
Positioning this project between art and life, I wanted to pursue the question: what could and should be the competence and involvement of art, in addressing the problems of society? How shall we take mercy in the social structure? Perhaps, the very idea of it is defective and creates new problems like dependence. In my project, I attempted to involve the so-called disfavored groups of society into the creative process and foster conditions for communication among the different groups. In May 2002, we organized a concert by orphans and children from poor families for the occupants of a nursing home. We also helped finance the participation of a family at a musical competition in Moscow and staged a theater performance by homeless children, which I have been working for more than a year.