Brothers and Sisters – Russian Mennonites
Since their birth in the 16th century as a branch of Christianity, the Mennonites have faced persecution and suppression. Indeed, for nearly three centuries, they have been in near constant movement. During the World Wars, their bitter fate reached its climax. Originally, a Germanic community, the group reached Ukraine, only to be shipped off to Siberia.
As a child my oldest sister took us to Sunday school as my parents did not raise us religious. I was thirteen when I stopped attending church services and never thought I would come back with a camera and the idea of a project about them. Working on the project has challenged me in many ways, as I have been forced to face my personal fears about being judged for being not a faithful Mennonite anymore. It was a very personal process and I am glad I met so many people who let me inside their lives and thoughts, because one way to gain trust was to open myself completely and I became quite vulnerable.