FOTODOK presents film and photography shot by Daya Cahen at Cadet School No. 9 in Moscow. The cadet training – the only one of its kind in the world – teaches girls aged 11-17 how to be ideal Russian patriots and ideal women.
Birth of a Nation is an important document providing insight into Putin’s contemporary Russia that propagates heroism and patriotism. In a subtle yet penetrating way, Cahen conveys the consequences that can have for the future of a country, where young women are called upon (again) to serve the collective. While the great Russian nation is glorified in song during roll call, the contradiction between militaristic indoctrination and childlike innocence is impossible to ignore. In addition to the film, Cahen also presents photographs that have never been seen before.