New Books Project

The project is under preparation. Two books of Marina Lo Re are beeing prepared for publishing at the "Books on Demand" publisher. The probable date of issue is June 2012.

Pictures At An Exhibition: Northern Golgotha

Northern Golgofa.

Dokumentary by Natasha Guruleva (New York, USA), Marina Lo Ré (Kaufbeuren, Germany), Gennadi Smirnov (Moscow, Russia). Information support by Yuri Seroff (Toronto, Canada) and "Solovki Encyclopaedia".

We would like to thank you for your interest in our project. The idea to make a film on Solovki was born in 2007. Why a film on Solovki? There is a clear answer to this question: in a way, Solovki is the core of Russian mentality, religion and history, with all the contradictions that derive from this. Once you have started to work on this, you can go on and on, and you will always find new and undiscovered aspects of the Russian way of thinking.

Short History

SOLOVKI is an archipelago of small islands in the White Sea of Russia, just 50 miles south of the Arctic Circle. 600 years ago it was chosen by a group of monks to establish a monastery and the biggest Orthodox Temple in Russia. For 500 years it was regarded as a Holy Land and visited by innumerous pilgrims from all classes, including peasants, noblemen and royalty. When the Revolution came the sanctuary was destroyed and converted into one of the severest prisons of the GULAG. The prisoners had to dismantle the domes' crosses and put up stars instead. Over a million people lost their lives under these stars of the first concentration camp of the Soviet Russia. Many of those killed were from the Russian Intelligencia, men of science and culture. Only after the collapse of the Soviet Empire the monastery was re-established and the restoration work began. The site is now under the protection of UNESCO.

Tradition of traveling art exhibitions

The periods of an acute social awareness in Russia to some extent were influenced by the realistic paintings exhibited by traveling artists.

There were PEREDVIZHNIKI (The wanderers; Russian: Передвижники) - a group of Russian realist artists who formed an artists' cooperative, which evolved into the Society for Traveling Art Exhibitions in 1870.

"They showed the many-sided characters of social life, often with critical tendency. Their art showed not only poverty but also the beauty of folk way of life; not only suffering but also fortitude, strength of characters. In the humanistic art of Peredvizhniki there was resolute condemnation of the Russian autocratic orders; the emancipation movement of Russian people was shown with empathy." (Wikipedia)

Northern Golgotha

Following this tradition PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION: NORTHERN GOLGOTHA will travel in Russia and around the world to tell the story not only in the form of photographic exhibits but as a SERIES OF DOCUMENTARIES showing people, places and history behind the pictures.

Tag lines of the stories

  1. The traveling exhibition. Places it went through, reaction of the audiences.
    - The "Promenade" of the series.
  2. Solovki – how it all started. The island's location, history and architecture.
  3. Crosses. Carving crosses, restoration of the religious architecture.
  4. Monks. Their life in the monastery.
  5. Prisoner's coat. Russian Holocaust. Archival footage of the concentration camp.
  6. Labyrinths of the archipelago. Research on their unknown origin and nature.
  7. Academic Florensky. Former prisoner of Solovki.
  8. Nature of the archipelago and life outside of Holy sanctuary.
  9. People from the exhibitions' audiences.
  10. The author of the pictures. Photograph Gennadi Smirnov. His story.
  11. Solovki's Biblical highlights: Golgotha.
  12. The author of the pictures. Marina Lo Rè, a quick acquaintance through the lens of her works.
  13. Academic Likhachev. Former prisoner of Solovki.
  14. 6-mile dam built by monks and volunteers
  15. Last victim of Solovki prison. Vasil Stuse – one of the poets of the archipelago.
  16. UNESCO protecting the site.