detdom project

en | ru

Detdom - an orphanage

For most outsiders the Russian orphanage is a place of near-mythical deprivation, but (of course) the truth is far more complex. Many people devote their professional lives to helping those children who have lost their families, or whose families cannot look after them. And there is the very specific history of the orphan in soviet and post-soviet Russia - for they have been the children of the state, brought up in some cases to work directly for the state. This has made them both objects of compassion and some fear: a child who has no loyalty to anyone but the state is not a child like others. However, for most children, being an orphan really is a situation of hopelessness. If they do succeed in later life this is justifiable reason for pride on the part of their carers, for many do not.

More background on Russian orphanages and orphans.

Note: Detdom is a contraction of Detskii Dom, meaning Children's Home, and specifically for children over 5 years of age.

Overview of the project

Detdom is an interactive documentary project in which we attempt to record the experiences of orphans and carers in the Russian Federation. This material is presented here as a number of separate episodes.

The project has two principal aims:

More background on the project as interactive documentary.

The episodes require Flash Player.

About us

This is a research and arts project by Peter Dukes (born in UK), a senior academic from the School of Media, Arts and Design at the University of Westminster, UK, and Veronika Peat (born in USSR), lecturer at University of Hertfordshire, UK.

Contact: detdom at nanostate dot org