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For the last five years, he has traveled with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of Russians on pilgrimages to the country’s most sacred religious shrines. His series, “Greshnyi Cheloveche” (a sinning man or sinner), documents these “cross processions.”
Walking dozens of miles a day through scalding sun and heavy rain, sleeping on church floors by night amid wives praying for their alcoholic husbands, superstitious businessmen, sick children, repenting criminals and earnest monks, Mr. Gataullin has tried to understand why and how people seek God. He does so with his camera ready.
“It’s important to capture not just the religious side of the event, not the surface of what’s happening,” Mr. Gataullin said, “but to try to show the individual — his emotions, feelings, suffering, his inner state. And at the same time, to show the communication of human with a god.”