Anton Polyakov (b. 1990, Tirsapol) is a freelance photographer, living and working in his birth city. The small town is the capital of Transnistria – the unrecognized Republic, legally part of Moldova but not actually controlled by it. Anton’s date of birth coincides with the date of establishment of the Republic which is located between Moldova and Ukraine and in political terms is considered Pro-Russian territory. He graduated from Transnistrian State University majoring in Geography. Currently Anton is interested in the younger generation of people who were born in the Republic after the collapse of the Soviet Union: the question of their personal identification, the influence of the uncertain status of the country and what they face in their daily lives. Today we share Anton’s series titled Zarnitsa.
In schools of Transnistria (unrecognized republic, legally part of the Moldova, but in fact is not controlled) a mandatory program for senior classes include BMT lessons (Basic Military Training). This practice preserved from the times of the Soviet Union, after the collapse of which in most of the newly formed countries this lessons was cancelled. But in Transnistria BMP lessons retained. With their help going patriotic and military education of students: taught the basics of gun handling, fundamentals of drill, the skills of first aid and civil protection in emergency situations. The culmination of this training become an annual spring competitions between school teams of the city. These competitions include all the disciplines studied during the two year BMT course and have officially name – “The Young Patriot of Transnistria”. But people accepted them to call it otherwise – as in Soviet times – “Zarnitsa”.
When I was in school we participated in “Zarnitsa”. It was a very responsible and important episode of my school life. 10 years later I returned to home school and together with a team of “Zarnitsa” passed all stages – from training and qualifying rounds before the final citywide competitions.
To view more of Anton’s work please visit his website.