Photo Journal Mondays: Mircea Sorin Albutiu
He started documenting the place in January 2015, taking photos and learning about the place and the people living there.
Also, he started filming in October 2015 one of the people from that small community of Russians. The guy's name is Vasile Serghevici Serbov. He is 55 years old. Since he does not have a steady income he occasionally works as a carpenter in construction. All fishing he does is for his own needs only. Sometimes he barters fish for wine and throughout winter he gets paid for taking care of a friend’s cattle. He has organized seven editions of the "White Gull" Chess Cup. The film is finalised and is part of my Master thesis at the Faculty of Theatre and Television in Cluj Napoca.
The photography series contains 150 photographs. The body of work is the result of 3 years of documenting the place. Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF) is the organiser of the first exhibition at Minerva Galleries from 25.05 to 03.06.
About the place:
Sfiştofca is an isolated village whose school and local store were closed down a few years ago. The sad thing is that about half of the houses in Sfiştofca are deserted and have begun to collapse. Cattle and horses can often be seen grazing the grass growing on the village streets. During summer they take shelter in the abandoned houses. The village has no running water and no sanitation. There are just a few fresh water wells in the village. Due to excessive vegetation, the fish in the Sfiştofca canal die. These harsh conditions turn basic needs into a continuous struggle for the villagers who are deprived of such commodities as food, water, heating. The Church of Sfiştofca has remained the only attraction because it is among the first churches built by the Lipovan Russians after their mass departure from Russia. Old style liturgical mass is conducted here by a teacher in old Slavonic, a language understood by very few people.The future looks bleak. It is possible that in the next 30 years the village Sfiştofca could disappear completely.