2006 Photo Contest, Portraits, Honorable mention

Robert Knoth

TCS / Contrasto for Greenpeace

01 July, 2005

Natasha Popova (12) and Vadim Kuleshov (8) live in the Vesnova orphanage. Natasha was born with microcephaly (a neurodevelopmental disorder defined as a head circumference more than two standard deviations below the mean for age and gender); Vadim has a bone disease and is mentally disabled.

It is not known for certain whether exposure to radiation can be linked to such conditions, but the Belarus government estimates a 250 percent increase in birth defects after the 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, just across the border in Ukraine. Some 30 high-dependency people, ranging in age from five to 25 and all branded 'mentally unfit' live in the institution. Conditions are badly affected by the lack of funds.

About the photographer

Robert Knoth

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