Photographer Denis Tarasov was born in 1971 in Russia. Since a very young age he has dedicated to photography and became a member of the Union of Pictorialists of Russia. He has won many awards and his photographs are being exhibited in museums and private collections.
In his series “Russian Cossacks Patrol”, now exhibited in “Around the War” he chronicles the daily lives of a group of children who have been rescued from the streets by clubs of patriotic education carried out by the Russian Cossacks.
Cossacks exist in Russia since the XVI century – explains the author of “Russian Cossacks Patrol” – and have always represented the armed class. They have been always at the service of the state and government. Nowadays, Russia’s government supports the Cossacks, who have become the backbone of the armed power. Children are brought up by the Cossacks as future soldiers in the service of the state. In Russia, there are many educational Cossack camps. Many schools have special Cossack cadet classes. This community is official and not closed. While I was shooting my project, I saw the game set as an unreal war. Both adults and children played this game.
Capturing their daily life was not difficult. Cossacks like to have such pictures, and love to be seen by a lot of people because they want to show people how they are educating their children so they can get more support from the people and the state.
I think that children who are brought up in these camps see their military future and how they will serve the army. Such a lesson like this “game” will save them from falling into the criminal world. In Russia’s villages and small towns, it is very little what is done to help children, especially when they have not been in contact with their parents for a long time. The state does not allocate enough money for children’s organizations. I will not say that I myself enjoy this “Cossacks’ education” because weapons were invented in order to kill. The war as a way of solving problems is, for sure, not the best solution. And such education has war as the only way to resolve the issues.
Photographic Museum of Humanity May’s exhibition “Around the War” will be online until June 9th, 2013. To see Tarasov’s Gallery “Russian Cossacks Patrol” and the complete exhibition, please visit: www.photographicmuseum.com/museum
You can see Denis Tarasov’s profile at www.photographicmuseum.com/denis_tarasov/photos
All images and text by © Denis Tarasov
Edited by Luján Agusti – Buenos Aires, Argentina