Nashi II / Ours II (installation)


Video installation

with 4 synchronized projections surrounding the viewer in a closed space

12 min. Loop, 2009

In 2007 Dutch artist Daya Cahen was the only outsider allowed to film extensively inside the summer training camp of Vladimir Putin’s radical and patriotic youth movement Nashi (Ours), known for breaking up anti-Putin demonstrations and using violence against Putin’s opponents. 

In this summer camp 10.000 Russian boys and girls are preparing themselves for a heroic future. They spend two weeks in lockdown, while red banners and loudspeakers hanging from the dome tents in the woods tell them what their future should be. They are the chosen ones of Russia; the future managers, politicians and military leaders of the country. The aim of the movement is to make Russia a great and invincible nation. A manifest is teaching them to sacrifice their life for their country, while Putin looks down on them from behind the trees. 

At the same time the West is ridiculed and anti-American sentiments are enforced by role-play of ever drunken Americans and Putin’s opponents in prison clothes, portrayed as fascists and placed behind barbed wire. In the work Cahen reveals how a seemingly innocent summer camp can become an important tool for indoctrination and radicalization.

In the present time we can look at the work in a different light and might see how already over a decade ago a generation of young Russians were being carefully prepared to perceive Russia as “the global leader of the 21st Century”. The work provides insight into the forge of the system's leaders and the system itself. 

Nashi II is a four-screen video installation that physically surrounds the viewer, with a sound composition. The viewer is placed inside the training camp of Nashi, where the individual is replaced by the collective.

This work was kindly supported by the Mondriaan Foundation

Editor                Daya Cahen

Camera              Daya Cahen

2nd camera      Danila Cahen

Sounddesign    Daya Cahen

Fixer Russia     Olga Kravetz

Soundmix         Ferry de Pater

Production       Daya Cahen / Yulia Ochetova