Pavel Volkov: Playing with Darkness

Pavel Volkov: Playing with Darkness
International Photography Grant 2019

About his project says Pavel: Sergey Mangos story for me is an example of outstanding human strength and power – not only physical but also spiritual. For the first time I saw Sergey near one Moscow underground station in a rush hour. He was standing near the entrance, not very tall, wearing some unremarkable clothes. A crowd of people around him moved so fast. Sergey seemed a little bit lost among them. I couldn’t even imagine at that moment what an outstanding fortitude I may find in this shy guy.

I’ve spent a lot of time with him and I’ve never heard him complaining. He just tried so hard even if something went wrong: one more race, one more swim, one more round. And as far as I understand it is not only while sport training, of his life goes the same way. When Sergey was a child, he liked to spend summer in the village where his grandparents lived. Once a terrible incident happened there – a horse hit him, and Sergey lost ability to see. After that he had to move to a special school for visually impaired children. He finished this school, entered an institute and met his wife there.

Playing with Darkness © Pavel Volkov

Now Sergey is a member of Paralympic Russian football team for visually impaired people. He regularly trains, goes in for various kinds of sports. He spends most of his time in training, competitions and travelling. Although he can’t see this world, he has visited many countries and crossed practically all Russia. He cant see. But he feels life. He lives a full life, with a beloved family, with all these medals and awards, with favorite sport. Sergey trained hard to take part in the Paralympic games-2016. Our Paralympic team had good chances to win some medals. But all the efforts of Russian Paralympic sportsman were crossed. But still we cant say that all these efforts were in vain. Sergey didn’t give up when he lost vision. I am sure he will not give this time, when they didn’t let him participate in the Paralympics. One more time, one more race, one more match, one more shoot for goal.

Playing with Darkness © Pavel Volkov

Pavel Volkov – photographer from Russia, actually lives in Moscow. Started his career as a freelancer working for various photo agencies in Saint Petersburg and Moscow, covered different social topics concerning Russia and relevant events in the country. Covered the events on the Maidan, in Crimea and south-east of the Ukraine as well. Interested in projects related to social problems of the Russian society. The author of several documentary projects related to youth subcultures: football hooligans, fight clubs, street fighting. His works were shown in the evening screening at the Visa Pour L’image 2014 festival. Publications in The Yew York Times lens blog, International New York Times, Der Spiegel. Washington Post, Harpers Magazine, Rolling Stones.

Website: volkovpavel.com

Playing with Darkness © Pavel Volkov

Playing with Darkness © Pavel Volkov

Playing with Darkness © Pavel Volkov

Playing with Darkness © Pavel Volkov

Playing with Darkness © Pavel Volkov

Playing with Darkness © Pavel Volkov

Playing with Darkness © Pavel Volkov

Playing with Darkness © Pavel Volkov

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International Photography Grant 2019