Photo exhibition about the life of an Estonian punk priest in Karelia
Text Timo Huttunen
Photos Jekaterina Solovjova
Washing in the Kolodozero lake
On December 17, the Museum of Photography (Fotomuuseum) in Tallinn’s Old Town will open Jekaterina Solovjova’s documentary photo exhibition ‘The Earth’s Circle. Kolodozera’.
The exhibition tells the story of Arkady, a punk priest from Tallinn. Photographer Jekaterina Solovjova, followed his life and activities with her camera in the village of Kolodozero in Karelia from 2009 until his tragic death in 2018.
Solovjova reveals the background to the photographs, “The village of Kolodozero is located on the border of the Arkhangelsk region and Karelia in Russia. Fifteen years ago, three friends who were looking for a purpose in meaning in life fell in love with the place. They built a new church in the village to replace the old burnt one. They also found a priest in the church, Arkadi Šlõkov (1973–2018), a red-haired rebel and punk who graduated from the Moscow Seminary in 2005.
The photos document the story of the punk priest Arkady, who grew up in Tallinn and lived in the city until 1991. He warmly welcomed Estonia’s independence, took part in demonstrations and documented the events with his camera.
Unique photographs of the mood in Estonia during this transition period are on display in a separate series. Arkady also participated in the bohemian underground life of Tallinn. He knew Estonian punk musicians and delved into the philosophy of punk. Arkady maintained this attitude throughout his life.
The priest Arkadi Šlõkov died unexpectedly at the age of 45. “This story is about the cold and heat of northern Russia and a man who wanted to bring light and faith to people,” says photographer Ekaterina Solovyova.
The entire project was shot with an analog camera on black and white film. The exhibition presents original works made by hand using the silver gelatin method.
The exhibition will be open from 17 December 2021 to 26 June 2022.