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Russian Old Believers - photo project by Mikhail Evstafiev

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Uploaded on Mar 11, 2008

Since the late 1990s, I have been documenting the lives of Old Believers, the heirs of the thousands and thousands of Russians who rejected the 17th century Orthodox Church reforms, were heavily persecuted for that and forced to flee to remote areas or even to other parts of the world in order to survive. This project has taken me to different regions of Russia, Romania and the United States.

Today's world is more tightly integrated than at any other point in history. Our lives are influenced by the process of globalization, which has swept across the planet, drowning cultures, mixing peoples and imposing on them a market-driven way of life based on a common mass culture.

Yet some groups, like the Old Believers, bonded by old-style religious beliefs, have preserved a different way of life with a deep sense of tradition and values, creating environments in which morality and the many values it represents are still sustained. But for how long will they survive? Could such communities be an example of one of the last stands against globalization?

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