Dear visitors! For technical reasons, meeting with the organizers of the «Weeks of Conscience» postponed to  indefinite period. We apologize.

Kirill Ovchinnikov
Krymsk. Eyewitness. Direct speech

Ksjusha, 5 years old. «I was sleeping in this room. My parents woke me up. We sat at attic of our neighbors till morning». Sverdlova street, 181 Albina, 10 years old, lived here with her mother Natasha, 35. Drowned. Sovetskaya street, 216 Ljosha, Albina’s neighbor, Sovetskaya street, 216. “Yes, we knew each other, we played together. They moved in a while ago. Uncle Jura made a hole in the roof trying to pull them up. Gnawed with his teeth. But it was too late. They were crying and crying and then the cry stopped. He couldn’t jump from the roof into the water to enter the house through the window because the current was too strong and the windows were already under the water. I was on the neighboring roof at the moment and heard everything.” Albina Mitzkevitch, 10 years old. Her mother Natalia Mitzkevitch, 35. Drowned. They rented an apartment here. Sovetskaya street, 216 Mikhail Nikanorovitch: «My wife, Antonina Gavrilovna, drowned. She woke me up at 3.10 a.m. asking to rescue our TV set as the water was filling the house. I looked around – the water was already waist-high. We couldn’t go out as the door was jammed. So we stood on the tables till the water came up to our chin. “We are going to die”, - I told my wife and decided to grab the coach floating around and swam back to her. When I reached my wife, she had already choked… There were only 10 cm left to the ceiling. I stood like this till morning… The horologe stopped at 4.28 a.m.
Adagumskaya  street, 122. Elena Vladimirovna: “The neighbors, the men, dragged me onto the bridge with the help of a roap. There were only bathrobe and pants on me…the bridge is just near our house. It was a 3-meter wave, at 2a.m. it started. The water was above the ceiling. And my mother in law sat the whole night on the roof. We were rescued only at 10 a.m.” Troitskaya street, 98 Sviridov Alexandre Alexandrovitch, Sviridov Grigorij Alexandrovitch, Petrenko Ljubovj Vladimirovna – all drowned. Troitskaya street, 110 Svetlana Alexandrovna, widow of drowned Pjotr Ostapenko : “ He wanted to move the car, we took  it on credit…But the water was coming so quickly…He left the car and took me and our children on the roof…Then we heard Tatiana and Dima crying through the window from the neighboring staircase. He swam in a rush to save them. He was swimming perfectly. He was born in Tamanj…When he changed the clothes, he was so cold…Then our neighbors called, they were sinking…He told me : ”Give me back my wet clothes”. He changed the clothes again and went away…He was absent for a long time…And I couldn’t stop crying his name: “Petya, Petya!...” Later she saw him sinking 100 meters from their house. Olimpijskaya street, 13 Alina Nesterovna: “Pjotr Ostapenko rescued us. He climbed through the attic on his roof, jumped into the water in the yard, swam to us. Though the current was very heavy. My husband is an invalid, he would not stand it…So we stood on this table. He was holding Jura in his arms for two hours, then swam to children…but didn’t reach them…”. Olimpijskaya street, 15 Dmitry Evgenievitch: “I was at work, my wife and son were here. My son can’t swim. They couldn’t leave the apartment by their own. You can see the water level behind me. Our neighbor, Pjotr Ostapenko, rescued them. One after another.  Pulled them through a small window. And then swam with them till the ladder on the second floor. He also rescued two pensioners next door. Then he swam home and after that at 7 a.m. drowned…” Olimpijskaya street, 13, building 1 Pejl Teodor Jakovlevitch. 83 years old. Drowned. 2d Troitskij pereulok, 2

Ksjusha, 5 years old. «I was sleeping in this room. My parents woke me up. We sat at attic of our neighbors till morning». Sverdlova street, 181

Albina, 10 years old, lived here with her mother Natasha, 35. Drowned. Sovetskaya street, 216

Ljosha, Albina’s neighbor, Sovetskaya street, 216. “Yes, we knew each other, we played together. They moved in a while ago. Uncle Jura made a hole in the roof trying to pull them up. Gnawed with his teeth. But it was too late. They were crying and crying and then the cry stopped. He couldn’t jump from the roof into the water to enter the house through the window because the current was too strong and the windows were already under the water. I was on the neighboring roof at the moment and heard everything.” Albina Mitzkevitch, 10 years old. Her mother Natalia Mitzkevitch, 35. Drowned. They rented an apartment here. Sovetskaya street, 216

Mikhail Nikanorovitch: «My wife, Antonina Gavrilovna, drowned. She woke me up at 3.10 a.m. asking to rescue our TV set as the water was filling the house. I looked around – the water was already waist-high. We couldn’t go out as the door was jammed. So we stood on the tables till the water came up to our chin. “We are going to die”, - I told my wife and decided to grab the coach floating around and swam back to her. When I reached my wife, she had already choked… There were only 10 cm left to the ceiling. I stood like this till morning… The horologe stopped at 4.28 a.m. Adagumskaya street, 122.

Elena Vladimirovna: “The neighbors, the men, dragged me onto the bridge with the help of a roap. There were only bathrobe and pants on me…the bridge is just near our house. It was a 3-meter wave, at 2a.m. it started. The water was above the ceiling. And my mother in law sat the whole night on the roof. We were rescued only at 10 a.m.” Troitskaya street, 98

Sviridov Alexandre Alexandrovitch, Sviridov Grigorij Alexandrovitch, Petrenko Ljubovj Vladimirovna – all drowned. Troitskaya street, 110

Svetlana Alexandrovna, widow of drowned Pjotr Ostapenko : “ He wanted to move the car, we took it on credit…But the water was coming so quickly…He left the car and took me and our children on the roof…Then we heard Tatiana and Dima crying through the window from the neighboring staircase. He swam in a rush to save them. He was swimming perfectly. He was born in Tamanj…When he changed the clothes, he was so cold…Then our neighbors called, they were sinking…He told me : ”Give me back my wet clothes”. He changed the clothes again and went away…He was absent for a long time…And I couldn’t stop crying his name: “Petya, Petya!...” Later she saw him sinking 100 meters from their house. Olimpijskaya street, 13

Alina Nesterovna: “Pjotr Ostapenko rescued us. He climbed through the attic on his roof, jumped into the water in the yard, swam to us. Though the current was very heavy. My husband is an invalid, he would not stand it…So we stood on this table. He was holding Jura in his arms for two hours, then swam to children…but didn’t reach them…”. Olimpijskaya street, 15

Dmitry Evgenievitch: “I was at work, my wife and son were here. My son can’t swim. They couldn’t leave the apartment by their own. You can see the water level behind me. Our neighbor, Pjotr Ostapenko, rescued them. One after another. Pulled them through a small window. And then swam with them till the ladder on the second floor. He also rescued two pensioners next door. Then he swam home and after that at 7 a.m. drowned…” Olimpijskaya street, 13, building 1

Pejl Teodor Jakovlevitch. 83 years old. Drowned. 2d Troitskij pereulok, 2

Moscow, 31.10.2012—25.11.2012

exhibition is over

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Kirill Ovchinnikov: «It was not my aim to investigate the reasons of the flood, it was not my aim to find those who are guilty, I didn’t count those who were dead. I was passing simply through, from house to house and with each and every story the moments of that night appeared in front of my eyes. Each and every wall, window, horologe were telling me more then witness could tell. On each wall there was a line, the level, up to which the water arrived, dirty slush, in which helpless people had to swim. This line separated the life and the death.

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Kirill Ovchinnikov: «It was not my aim to investigate the reasons of the flood, it was not my aim to find those who are guilty, I didn’t count those who were dead. I was passing simply through, from house to house and with each and every story the moments of that night appeared in front of my eyes. Each and every wall, window, horologe were telling me more then witness could tell. On each wall there was a line, the level, up to which the water arrived, dirty slush, in which helpless people had to swim. This line separated the life and the death.

10 centimeters to ceiling means 10 centimeters of life and air. Unbroken window or closed door — no way out... ( I was moving from one street to another following the way of the water, the way without any human logic, the way with the logic of death ) The tragedies and stories with happy rescue end didn’t depend on the strength of the house... But every story began with the words...» nobody warned us"...or "we woke up in the water«...and with the question «though they knew...why?» Some stories were true narrations which deserved more than I could right down in my notepad... Probably, overflown with the sorrow and despair, I forgot to mention something or just mixed up a few things, for this forgive me those with whom I spoke."

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Opening day photos

Kirill Ovchinnikov Olga Sviblova and Kirill Ovchinnikov Moscow holidays of children from Krymsk Moscow holidays of children from Krymsk Moscow holidays of children from Krymsk Moscow holidays of children from Krymsk Moscow holidays of children from Krymsk Moscow holidays of children from Krymsk Moscow holidays of children from Krymsk Moscow holidays of children from Krymsk

For mass-media

The town of Krymsk in the Krasnodar region was virtually destroyed by a devastating flood during the night of 7 July 2012. At least 170 people lost their lives (widely divergent statistics have been given by the Krymsk region administration, the Ministry of Emergency Situations and witnesses to the event), and rebuilding a town that was to all extents and purposes wiped from the face of the earth will take many years. The actual reasons for the disaster are still unknown. Photographer Kirill Ovchinnikov arrived in Krymsk on 11 July and spent four days in what remained of the town.

This project first appeared in the magazine Russky Reporter, which commissioned Ovchinnikov’s trip to Krymsk. It is now presented as an exhibition entitled Krymsk. Witnesses. Direct Speech at the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow. Ovchinnikov records a major calamity that changed the lives of its inhabitants forever in the best traditions of the reportage genre, although his view is by no means indifferent and he is able to empathise and share their grief, leaving the viewer face to face with the people depicted in these photographs. Nearly all the survivors tell their own personal account of that horrendous night, and the repercussions of this catastrophe and the pain of losing all those who perished on 7 July 2012 are conveyed through inverted commas and ellipses in the printed text.

Kirill Ovchinnikov was born in Moscow in 1965. Member of the Union of Artists since 1990. Professional photographer since 2000. Has worked with cutting-edge journals such as Elle, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Wallpaper, AD, Abitare (Milan), Vokrug Sveta, Russky Reporter, Snob, etc.

Exhibitions: Fashion and Style in Photography, 2005; Venice at the New Studio salon, 2006; series of architectural works at the Prolab Gallery, 2007; Day of the Dead in Mexico as part of the Festival of Mexican Culture in Moscow, Shchusev Museum of Architecture, 2008; Fashion and Style in Photography, 2009.

Awards:
2nd & 3rd place: Professional Category, International Photography Awards 2007, Los Angeles, California
Hasselblad Masters semi-finalist, HASSELBLAD MASTERS COMPETITION 2008
Honourable Mention, PX3 2008 Competition

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