In Russian there is only a one letter difference between the words: “spasatel” (“rescue officer” or “firefighter”) and “spasitel” (“savior”, “redeemer”, “Jesus Christ”), but the connotations are almost opposite. Rescue officers only come when something bad has already happened. Often they just carry dead bodies, thus not preventing tragedy, but only dealing with its consequences.

All rescue officers in the Russian Federation get “The book of a rescue officer” after their first certification. Every owner of this book has to fill it in by hand with written accounts of all the accidents they were involved in throughout their career. It becomes a sort of a record of a lifetime of almost daily suffering and dying. I spent two and a half years in a rescue division in Russia exploring how one’s attitude towards death changes with daily exposure to it.

The complete project is presented as “Book of Savior”.