Aleksey Myakishev


The history of a pilgrimage
The history of a pilgrimage
ISBN 978-952-68977-3-8
Photos: Aleksey Myakishev. Texts: Georgy Kolosov, Darya Yeremeeva. 120 p., 53 photos. 215×215 mm, 700 copies. Treemedia, 2018
Velikoretsky procession
The Velikoretsky procession is dedicated to the icon of Saint Nicholas and timed to the day of its first appearance, which took place near the village of Velikoretskoye, Vyatka region on June 6, 1383.
Approximately 100 years after the icon was transferred to the town of Khlynov (later Vyatka, currently Kirov) under the condition that every year the icon will be brought “home" on the day of its appearance. For some 100 years it was transported by water. Then, because of the multitude of pilgrims, there appeared a walking route, which did not change for centuries. It takes 90 kilometers to get to the village (June 3−5), 70 kilometers back via a different route (June 7−8). The festive liturgy and prayer service take place on June 6 on the banks of the Velikaya river near the place of the icon's appearance.

Before the Bolshevik coup, tens of thousands of people participated in the procession (Alexander Gertzen, who lived in Vyatka in exile, remembers it as a “nationwide pagan action”). It attracted many pilgrims until World War II; in the times of Krushchev and anti-religious persecutions, people were gathering in the forests. The process resumed in 1989, and again become a mass event by 1991. In 1992, I counted about two hundred female pilgrims and three dozen male. The icon itself disappeared in the early 30s. It was famous even in the old times — Ivan the Terrible requested bringing it to Moscow and dedicated to it the Southern aisle of the Cathedral of the Intercession on the moat — known to the world as Saint Basil's Cathedral. No reliable copies of the icon survived till the present day.
— Georgy Kolosov

Why do adolescent boys always want to stray from the adults at any trip, climb a mountain, an old roof or a ruin? It’s not only because they want to shout out loud from a conquered peak: hey, you all, take a look at us! They want to get higher, to see the world in its width and greatness… Maybe, even without understanding it, they want to become a part of the sky, of this eternal and incomprehensible freedom, so desired by the youngsters.
Bobino — Zagarye

He is the Gardener, the Sower, the Plowman and the Shepherd. Who are we? Seeds and weeds, goats and sheep, flowers and grasses on His meadows. Some of us blossom vividly and others are hardly noticed. Some grow long and some fade quickly. But every single being is drawn to the Sun and cannot live without rain.
Aleksey Myakishev does not hunt for such an artificial “beauty”. He seeks for truth, and the beauty runs after this truth like a colt after a horse.
Darya Yeremeeva
Zagarye — Monastyrskoe

Who hides under this flowery patterned cape? Is it a girl, an adolescent or a middle-aged woman? What does she think about right now and what was she dreaming during this long journey? Whom did she remember, for whom did she pray? Whom did she wish health, God’s help and joy? What did she beg from God for herself? Surely love. Did she promise anything or make a vow? Or maybe she started the journey out of curiosity, not thinking of anything special? Maybe she just wanted to breathe the scents of forest and grasses, listen to conversations and quietly sing some chants with her friends? So turn around, angel, and look at us!

These busy women are always on the move. They constantly care for other people, no matter known or unknown to them. It is they who check if everyone has a cup of tea and a pie. It is they who close the window and to save a child or an old man from a draught. But what are these women doing here? They could simply sit down and admire the beauty of the old tree roots, but no — they are still restless, they look for something. Oh, these busy Marthas! But let us not forget that there is no Mary without Martha, just like there is no love without care.

The girl's face is so serious and focused. And the collapsed and overgrown temple has long ceased to be serious. It reminds us of a sad, abandoned, tired and bearded old man. But there is a strange beauty in its loneliness and sadness, just like in the seriousness of a girl. They have something in common… something that cannot be immediately identified, some truth of expression.
You can easily recognize works of Myakishev, and it’s worth a lot, especially in photography, where finding your own style is very hard.
Darya Yeremeeva
Aleksey Myakishev
Aleksey Myakishev is a professional photojournalist, born in 1971 in the city of Kirov (Vyatka). In 1991−1999 he worked at various Kirov newspapers, and in 1999 he moved to Moscow and became a freelance photographer. Aleksey cooperates with a number of Russian and foreign newspapers and journals, like Russian Newsweek, Kommersant, Helsingin Sanomat, APU, Talouselama (Finland) and many others. Currently, he is working on several documentaries dedicated to provincial Russia. Aleksey Myakishev is the winner of the Interphoto prize (1998, 2001). His activity was funded by grants from the Ministry of Culture of Russia in 1996 and 1997. He is also a winner of the Best Photographer, The Best of Russia, FRF Prize, Sony World Photography Awards. Aleksey teaches in the Leica Akademie educational program. He has participated in a number of joint and solo exhibitions in Russia, France, Germany, Canada, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Austria. His photographs are kept in collections of Leica Camera Russia, the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, the Museum of Organic Culture in Kolomna, the municipal library of the city of Auxerre (France), as well as in various private collections in Germany, France, Spain, Austria, Italy, and Russia.
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© 2018 Aleksey Myakishev
© 2018 Treemedia Content Oy

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