Photographic Exhibition by Ambassador Petrakov of the Russian Federation
A photographic exhibition by Ambassador Petrakov of the Russian Federation in South Africa was opened on 4 February 2017 at the Irma Stern Museum in CapeTown. The exhibition is on until 11 February 2017.
The Exhibition is dedicated to the 25th Anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Russia and South Africa
The upcoming 25th Anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Russia and South Africa, on 28 February, is not only a diplomatic and political milestone but a perfect occasion to expand the knowledge and understanding of each other’s culture, nature and history.
This is the aim of the present Exhibition, which comes in two parts.
The first one gives a glimpse into the majestic beauty of Russia’s capital and its true heart – Moscow – during winter.
The second showcases the only active Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Africa south to Sahara (Midrand, Gauteng) and expresses the unique nature of the Orthodox branch of Christianity.
Speaking about the exhibition Ambassador Mikhail Petrakov said, "I wouldn’t call myself a photographer in the traditional sense of the word, I don’t strive for formal ‘beauty’ in a shot, achieved through technical accomplishment — with modern equipment and Photoshop, it has become more of a craft than an artistic skill. I try to reveal the essence and harmony of whatever I portray; I like to experiment with my photos and while limiting myself in means, I prefer applying them drastically; I tend to work in series of pictures, presenting my subject from different angles in a project, not so much by individual photos; I enjoy leaving my photos open for interpretations.
MOSCOW IN SNOW
As an Ambassador of Russia to South Africa, I want to show South Africans what I consider a very important and vivid part of the Russian soul – Moscow – during the winter period.
Moscow is much more than simply a dynamic huge metropolis, it is a symbol of the Motherland for Russians. Moscow is the Seat of the President and the Parliament. It is a place where for many generations cultural, political and economic threads from all over Russia intersected into one giant historical web. It is essentially – the beating heart of Russia.
Winter is very much an integral part of the lives of Russian people, influencing their culture, history and habits. It is a cold and harsh time of the year that has a unique unforgettable beauty to it.
This is my attempt to relay across the continents an almost fairytale-like vibe of the winter season in Moscow.
RUSSIAN CHURCH IN MIDRAND AS AN ISLET OF SPIRITUAL RUSSIA ON SOUTH AFRICAN SOIL
Russia is a vast, diverse country inhabited by many peoples of different faiths and religions. Millions of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and others enjoy equal rights and form a truly unique spiritual landscape of our country.
The most popular religion in Russia is the Orthodox Faith, one of the major branches of Christianity. It has played a great role in Russia's history, becoming a part of the identity of the Russian people, ever since in the X century Christianity was adopted by Russian Grand Prince Vladimir the Great through a baptism ceremony held in Chersonesus (Crimea, Russia).
South Africa is the only country in Sub-Saharan Africa that has an active Russian Orthodox Church (Midrand Gauteng). It is a very special place not only for our compatriots, but for all people who enjoy exploring spiritual paths and admiring the beauty of its architecture and interiors.
Orthodoxy combines deep spirituality, strictness of traditions, beauty of rites, architecture, icons and music. The Cathedral in Midrand embodies all of these features, serving as a powerful link between the cultures and peoples of our nations.
This is exhibition is an experiment, an attempt to express through the means of photography the outward beauty and the inner essence of the Faith.
Embassy of the Russian Federation in South Africa