The only way

Stavropol Theological Seminary is the main educational institution of the Russian Orthodox Church in the North Caucasus. It grades young people who want to become priests. Portraits of more than 20 students were included in the «The only way» series.

«The only way» is an attempt to see the individuality of each of the seminarians, which is hidden in the strict framework of the theological academy, among the typical interiors of the dormitory.

The seminary is a place on the border between the religious and secular worlds, and its students — as though each of them is lost in a fog — are captured in the liminal moment. Ascetic interiors of their rooms emphasise their separate existence. Although, at the same time, they indicate their belonging to the outside world and their rootedness in the material reality.

How consciously do people come to faith and integrate into religious institutions? Some photos are accompanied by quotes from interviews. These quotes are the characters’ answers to the key question of the series: «How did you get into the seminary?»