Olesya Bondareva (Russia), Mauri Pasanen (Finland) Last dervish of Kazakhstan

14.05.10 - 01.06.10

New exhibition at Elena Vrublevskayagallery tells of surviving ancient Sufi tradition of dervishes from Central Asia.

The authors - Olesya Bondareva, and Mauri Pasanen - recorded on photo and video the sessions and healing rituals of Bifatima, one of the last Sufi dervishes of Kazakhstan. It is planned that during the exhibition Bifatima-apa will personally visit Moscow, and hold several ceremonies in the exhibition area.

The exhibition "The Last Dervish of Kazakhstan" tells about the revival of ancient traditions that were banned in the Soviet era, in particular, about Sufism or Islamic mysticism. The form in which Sufism is presented in Kazakhstan - is a mixture of Islam with local traditions of Central Asia to a greater extent with shamanism. Bifatima is the heir and custodian of this particular line of Sufism. The viewer has the opportunity to see how the Kazakh version of Sufi tradition differs from the accepted idea of a dervish, formed by the example of whirling Dervishes of Istanbul.

In the photo as well as on video - there is a rare documentary footage, unprecedented "look from inside". The special relationships between Bifatima and the authors of the project, who have spent a long time in her company, let the unique situations to be captured and comments of the participants to be received.

Bifatima usually avoided reporters and cameras, but ultimately she allowed to shoot without any restrictions. So the authors had the opportunity to capture on camera something that hardly ever been withdrawn. Sots, where people take part in shamanic rituals which are aimed at rebirth, spiritual healing and purification are exciting and sometimes even shocking, but always taken with understanding and empathy

Sufi tradition has always been an inexhaustible source of art. The modern spiritual master uses symbolic language, understandable to an artist more than to anyone else. In addition to the obvious symbolism, space of the master also appeals to phenomena, based not on "rational", but on feelings, emotions and feelings . A documentary story about it is, of course, a full-fledged artistic utterance..

Photos are supplemented by brief explanations and descriptions of rituals and their symbolic meanings. The exhibition hall rooms consistently demonstrated documentary video showing healing sessions and rituals of Bifatima. Her spells, loud and energetic exclamations, a kind of "revitalize" the photographic image.

Moscow Exhibition in Elena Vrublevskaya gallery is the part of the project of a Moscow director Olesya Bondareva (photo), and documentary man from Finland Mauri Pasanen (video), the final stage of which will be a full-length documentary about Bifatima - the last Dervish of Kazakhstan.

See also:

Last dervish of Kazakhstan

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As an esoteric tradition of Islam Sufism is a collection of teachings, manifested in many different forms, but having one common goal: overcoming common personal limitations and imperfections of perception. This is not just a set of theories or hypotheses, different sources have described it as the path of love, devotion, and the path of knowledge. In the Arab-Islamic terminology "Sufi" is the one who is in love with the Truth, the one who is moving to Perfection. 

Sufism is often described as a Path. This metaphor suggests that the path has a beginning and direction. By following this path, everyone can know the reality. "This self-knowledge is to answer the following questions: Who are you and where did you come from? Where does your path lead, and for what purpose do you live under the sun? What is your true happiness and sorrow?"

In Sufism there are teachers, mentors, who can transmit to their students the knowledge of how to awaken to ones true natural state and become a real person. Sufism is not aimed to explain all the problems associated with human behavior, its task is to provide with useful knowledge, the knowledge, that will help people to understand themselves, their own identity and borders, as well as help them to find their divine spark.

There is no any one particular approach to the teachings of Sufism, and not everything in these teachings is conveyed in words. The Wisdom of Sufism can take various forms, including stories, poems, religious ceremonies, exercises, lectures or classes, buildings of special purpose, various shrines and places of worship, dance movements and a prayer.
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