detdom project

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Dom Destva - House of Childhood, Orenburg

intervieweedogs fightingnameless kitten

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This was one of two orphanages visited in this city on the Ural river in southern Russia. Orenburg was once a frontier town, then became an industrial city. Yuri Gagarin trained here as an airforce pilot.

Our preparation was limited and we had sought the advice and support of locals, relatives of Veronika. We arrived at this orphanage in a black Volga car, once the favoured transport of mid-ranking Soviet officials, and also associated with sinister urban legends. The car on its own seemed sufficient to permit us to pass through the gate.

Once inside we were initially mistaken for associates of a local Mr Big, leading to some confusion. We then sought to speak to orphanage administrators for permission to film, and were told to return another day. This was not possible as we were due to travel elsewhere the next day. We were therefore permitted to interview one boy, and we filmed some more general material outside.

In this project an edited section of that interview is presented alongside the full / unedited version, as well as all associated clips from the same orphanage and visit.

It will loop continuously if you do not intervene in playback.