Rites of passage (rites de passage) is a term belonging to the French anthropologist Arnold van Gennep. He introduced it at the beginning of the twentieth century to describe the rituals that change the social status of a person. Weddings, funerals, and the initiation are individual examples of such rituals. The passage in this case is a metaphor for changes in the life of a person or family. In Galev’s photographs depicting these life events that are so important for every person, there is passage or movement in the literal sense. We see a funeral procession with wreaths and crosses, which moves in the village streets. We see the passage of the newlyweds in front of the villagers, gathered in front of the club where they were just officially married. We see the procession of graduates in pairs on line on the school holiday of the “Last Bell.” We see that those close to a person accompany him or her, moving closely with him or her during these rituals of transition from one life stage to another until the very last – whether on foot, on a tractor or on a custom-made bus, with flowers, with music or in silence.
Inna Veselova, Svetlana Adonyeva
Translation by Laura Olson Osterman, Jessika Aguilar, Alexandra Aleynik