Bronze 2017 / Book / Documnetry (Non-Pro)

Invisible People of Belarus

  • Photographer
    Jadwiga Bronte
  • Prizes
    Bronze in Book (Series Only)/Documnetry

'Invisible People of Belarus’ documents the lives of disabled people and Chernobyl victims living in governmental institutions called ‘Internats’. Internats function as something between an orphanage, asylum, and hospice. There are glaring deficiencies in Belarusian internats: very little physical or educational therapy is offered; there are few opportunities for recreational activities; and the right to a private life is not respected, with romantic relationships between residents prohibited. Integration within the local community is virtually non-existent. Their location makes it difficult for the families that would like to stay in touch with their children to visit. Some are located in very rural areas and with almost no public transport links. All internats are either fenced off or walled. This separation stands as metaphor for the way disability is thought about in Belarus: misunderstood and better shut away.