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Andrei Riskin April 14, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ukraine.

Rosh Hashanah, Uman, Ukraine 2012

Andrei Riskin (b. 1975, Russia) graduated with a Master’s Degree in large-scale energy production and distribution systems in 1997. The following year he moved to the United States where he worked in Silicon Valley as a software engineer for two years. In 2001 Andrei traded the comfort of a cubical for a career as a freelance event and documentary photographer. His work has been exhibited at Rayko Photo Center and The World Affairs Council in San francisco. Andrei also teaches photography at Academy of Art University and Photo Center in San Francisco.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken in Uman, Ukraine a place famous for hosting the yearly pilgrimage of twenty-five thousand Hassidic Jews on Rosh Hashanah. Most of them are drawn to the grave of Rabbi Nachman, the founder of the Breslov Hassidic movement who promised a year-long blessing to those who visit him on that Holiday. A few years prior to his passing away in the early 1800’s he moved to Uman from Breslov as he wanted to be buried next to those killed in a recent massacre. Throughout its history Ukraine was infamous for it’s anti-semitism  and oppression of its Jewish population, of which now there are hardly any remaining. The pilgrims, most of whom are very religious, seem to ignore the country’s grim past. Most just pray and celebrate their centuries-year-old tradition.”