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Story Publication logo October 14, 2019

Russian Boarding House: New Year's Party

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Image by Anastasia Udenko. Russia, 2015.
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Seven Dates

"Seven Dates" explores the impact of sexual segregation in psycho-neurological boarding houses in...

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New Year's party. Image by Anastasia Rudenko. Russia, 2017.
New Year's party. Image by Anastasia Rudenko. Russia, 2017.

The New Year's party organized for patients of the "female" psycho-neurological boarding house is receiving guests—patients from the "male" psycho-neurological boarding house. There are no official "female" and "male" asylums on the territory of Russia, but in the provinces, women and men are often separated to exclude the possibility of sexual contacts for fear of unwanted pregnancy.

The two asylums are located in small villages with no infrastructure and are separated by 20 km of dirt road. There is no transport connection between them, the cell-phone network coverage is very bad, and the patients are forbidden to leave the boarding grounds. Therefore they can see each other and communicate only at events such as this party. Sometimes boarding house residents fall in love becoming a couple who look forward to seeing each other at the next meeting. However, the administration of the "male" asylum sometimes applies a ban on meetings as a punishment for individual men or the whole team.

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