2009 - 2018
The village of Kolodozero, deeply concealed in the woods of Pudozh, is located on the border between Arkhangelsk Oblast and Karelia. Fifteen years ago, these places enchanted three friends from Moscow who were strolling around the north and searching for the meaning of life, and most likely, themselves as well. In 2001, they jointly gathered resources and started building a new church to replace the old one that was burned down back in 1977. One of the friends, the redhead rebel and punk Arkady Shlykov, who graduated from the Moscow Spiritual Seminary, accepted the ordination in 2005. This event was intended to change the life of the village, to breathe new forces into it. Unfortunately, the indifference of the Russian northern hinterland turned out to be stronger than the sincere spiritual impulses of friends and Arkady himself. A full-fledged parish from local residents in Kolodozero did not work out. Despite the huge number of friends who came to visit the house of the priest from all over the country and from abroad, Arkady was alone. The locals loved him, asked for help and for any religios needs, but he was very worried that the people did not go to serve in the church. On February 12th 2018, I have got sad news from Kolodozero. Priest Arkady Shlykov suddenly died after a heart attack. He was 45 years old. All the years he lived in Kolodozero he took all the problems and sorrows of the people of the village very personally, helped them selflessly. He used to spend hours hitchhiking to the remote communities to baptize, read the funeral service or just serve in the temple. And at some moment his heart gave up. After the priest's death the village feels empty. The church is closed, services are not held. People continue to live their lives, the are still to realize what man they lost. This story is about the cold and the warmth of the Russian North, and about a man who just wanted to bring light and faith to people.
Russia, Karelia 2009-2018