Tatyana Ilyina

ilinaBorn in 1984 in Moscow. Graduated from the Moscow College of Information Technologies (2002), Moscow Independent University of Ecology and Political Science (2006) with a specialization in journalism, and the photography school at the All-Russia State University of Cinematography (2008). Master classes with Sergei Maksimishin (2008) and Vladimir Vyatkin (2008). Student at the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia.

The Simplicity Syndrome

I came across the subject of “Simplicity Syndrome” by pure chance, the same way as many of my oth­er subjects. A friend of mine asked me to film an event at the Downside Up center for children with Down syndrome. My flash drive broke after the shoot, and I wanted to make up for my mistake and return to shoot in more detail. With time I got sucked in… I photographed different families over the course of a year, accompanied them to theater rehearsals, to music and dance schools, and traveled to a village near St. Petersburg where people with disabili­ties live and work. I spoke at length with children and parents who opened up a new world that was previously hidden from me. I witnessed the lives of these people and their inner worlds and acted as a conduit for it all. The result, as one parent described it, is a wake-up call for society, for a society that closes its eyes and turns away from these people. It is common to hide them. As a result, our so­ciety may be very cruel to them. Yet they live among us, and have feelings and thoughts that they don’t want to hide at all.