Photography workshop: Focus on Yevgeny Lapin
"I now see the world differently," said Yevgeny. `"I see events and places in terms of a framed photo."
By John Varoli
Yevgeny Lapin was born in 1995 a healthy and active boy. At about age six, however, problems appeared with his ability to move. By age seven, multiple sclerosis left him paralysed.
Today, Yevgeny, 12, studies in the fifth grade at School No. 379 in western Moscow, one of the few in the Russian capital with an inclusive education programme.
Though confined to a wheelchair there are few hobbies and activities Yevgeny has not mastered: dancing, singing, drawing, ping-pong and computer programming.
"I like to sing a lot!" he exclaimed, saying his idols are Russia's Dima Bilan, Columbia's Juanes and Italy's Eros Ramazzotti.
Thanks to a UNICEF sponsored photo workshop at the end of May, held in conjunction with the Moscow NGO, Perspectiva, Yevgeny added yet another skill to his list of talents - photography.
After completing the two-day course, Yevgeny was paired with his friend Misha. Along with the other ten pairs of children they got their first assignment - to cover a Moscow orphanage for severely physically and mentally disabled children. Yevgeny, as all the children, were not quite ready for what they saw.
"These children only exist; they just stare at the wall," remarked Yevgeny, clearly stunned by the visit. "It's such a sad and terrible picture."'
Yevgeny was deeply moved by what he sees, hesisted a bit, but then began clicking his camera that was able to capture an eerie depth to these children's difficult lives.
"They have such kind faces, and an energy that touches you deep inside," said Yevgeny.
Precisely this enthusiasm and intense creative talent brought Yevgeny results that he didn't quite expect. At the end of the week, a vote by all the children rewarded Yevgeny and Misha with the title of best photographers.
"I now see the world differently," said Yevgeny. "I see events and places in terms of a framed photo."