A Street Cleaner From Russia Took Part in a Photo Project and Proved That Everything Is Relative in This World

3 years ago

Russian photographer Roman Filippov published his photo project online dedicated to his old friend, a street cleaner named Yura. These photos showed Yura’s current difficult life as well as the life he could have led if he were more fortunate. The photos became really popular online, and just a few days after they had been published, Yura’s life took an unexpected yet wonderful turn.

At Bright Side, we believe that life can be more intriguing than any movie — and these photos prove that. We hope that they impress you as much as they impressed us.

I met Yura when I was a child at a camp for disabled kids. My mother worked there and my brother and I were friends with the local kids. Years later, Yura began to work as a street cleaner in our area and ran into my mother. She invited him to come up for a cup of tea (at that time, our family lived together). My relatives, Babanya and Aunt Lena, took him under their wing because helping those in need is the right thing to do.

Babanya became his godmother. For several months, she visited different authorities trying to get him the flat that he was entitled to due to his disability and the fact that he was an orphan. Yura had been abandoned when he was just a baby. He grew up in an orphanage and was disabled due to mental development disorders. He wasn’t fit to lead an independent life. Before Babanya took care of him, he had been, in fact, homeless.

The story I want to tell you happened due to his naivety and gullibility. Lonely and helpless people are often surrounded by those who want to take advantage of them. So Yura gave his room to some “good people” 3 times. Aunt Lena managed to return it to him only through the court system.

When these people realized that they wouldn’t get his flat, they changed their strategy. They persuaded Yura to take out loans in different banks only to have him lend them the money so that they could buy a house in the countryside. The banks gave him a loan of more than $6,600. The following year, Yura worked for these people as a slave. He did all their housework and they fed him for it. But they fed him so badly that he lost over 30 pounds. Then he ran away. He walked a few dozen miles to get to the city before meeting with Babanya.

Currently, Yura works as a street cleaner, grows plants at home, writes poems, and cooks delicious food. The majority of people don’t pay attention to him — he’s nothing to them. It’s not Yura’s fault that he has such a life. Not all of us are born in equal conditions with equal possibilities. If he was a little bit luckier, he could’ve been on the cover of a magazine. That’s because his kindness and moral strength are outstanding.

Roman Filipov invited Yura to try on a new look, making him seem like a completely different person. This way, the photographer could attract attention to Yura’s difficult life. This is the result.

Thanks to the publication of the photo project and Yura’s story, Internet users collected almost $12,000 within a single day so that Yura could cover his debt. He was also invited to be photographed for glasses ads.

What do you think about this photo project? Share your emotions in the comments below.


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People can be very cruel. He is lucky to have friends looking out for him. He is very handsome and is a natural model.


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