We go to speak with Baba Dusja Smirnov.. She lives in the K@2 building on the second floor. She first visited the cathedral when it was a sports club during Soviet times. Since then the church has new importance to her. She has become an Orthodox believer, and now attends regularly.
We ask her to open the door to her life of 77 years, her story, and record the conversation. The method is to learn and listen to what is important to her.
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| by the window || Baba Dusja's living room |
We sit in Baba Dusja's living room. Smells of herbs and medicine. An invite into another world of colours and the things wearing those colours.
There are fragments of multi-coloured fabric on the table and scraps on the floor. A black package lies wrapped up in string.
And she speaks of her life that takes you from Russia to Latvia. She came to Karosta when her daughter married. Her husband followed, but died at the end of the 1980s. The start of changes.. Her daughter moved out of town when the Soviet military withdrew from Karosta in 1994.
She speaks of the Cathedral near her house, it's going-ons, and her involvement in it. Also of two friends from the Cathedral who come to visit her at home: she doesn't go out so often.
We ask her if she had to make a few pictures of something in her room that was important to her, what would it be?
So she mentions the Cathedral in her house.. The iconostasis in the corner. And the sewing machine which looks out of the window..
We ask her if she can show us how she is sewing an apron. She agrees, and after changing headscarf, she begins with a measured foot movement..
The pedal turns the old Singer machine.. Stitches bind a seam in the fabric.
She was happy that we were again at the Cathedral for St. Olga's mass the next day.. This time we stayed to look at the icons.
Our eyes followed Baba Dusja as she went round each icon that had meaning for her.. We guessed, where she was pausing for longer, at the old one she had brought originally from Russia.