2008 Photo Contest, Daily Life, 1st prize

Pieter Ten Hoopen

Agence Vu

01 January, 2007

People in Vladimirskoe live beside a lake that is an object of ancient folklore and pilgrimage. The story goes that when the city of Kitezh came under attack by Mongols in the 13th century, the townsfolk put up no defense, but simply prayed for God's protection. As the Mongol armies came in for the assault, fountains sprang from the earth, and the city of Kitezh sank beneath the waters of what is now Lake Svetloyar. Legend has it that the city can be seen rising from the lake in midsummer, and that bells and singing can be heard from beneath the surface. The water itself is considered sacred and Russian Orthodox pilgrims come to celebrate the piety of the townsfolk of Kitezh. But few visitors pay attention to the residents of present-day Vladimirskoe where the unemployment rate is high and alcohol abuse is rife.

About the photographer

Pieter Ten Hoopen

Pieter Ten Hoopen is a member of Agency VU in Paris, as well as the founder of the company Civilian Act in Stockholm Sweden. Pieter has worked with aftermaths of war and human...

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