I learned about Marina Borisovna from my mother, they were colleagues. A two-year-old girl, who forgot how to walk because of hunger in the besieged Leningrad, managed to recover after evacuation in 1942. I was interested in learning more about that time and decided to visit Marina Borisovna in Pavlovsk. She was telling me a lot about her childhood, former job and three husbands whom she outlived. We went for walks in the parks, to her beloved church and to the library, where she sometimes gives lectures. Gradually, the project about “childhood during blockade” turned into the destruction of stereotypes about old age.

In Russia, society often treats older people as “big children”, who poorly understand the modern world. Their identity is determined by the numbers in the passport. Marina Borisovna, on the other hand, with her inner confidence and independence, did not cause me to feel that I should communicate with her in a special way due to her age. I was able to overcome my own framework of the perception of the older generation and see old age as a continuation of life, not a separate part of it.

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