The strongest

How did the humanity fight dangerous viruses in different eras?

Reading time 6 minutes

When the coronovirus epidemic walks around the world, it’s time to recall what diseases people have already defeated. In the article we will tell you who, how and when saved the humanity from epidemics.

Plague

According to historians, up to 300 million people died from the plague. The disease was rolling in wave during the Middle Ages and the New Age. The most ferocious pandemics are the Justinian plague in the 6th-8th centuries and the “Black Death” in the 14th century. More often people got sick with bubonic plague – lymph nodes became inflamed and formed characteristic “buboes”. Pulmonary plague happened less frequently. A person began to cough and spit blood. In the first form, the probability of recovery was 25%, in the second – 0%. All the doctors could do was to protect themselves when approaching a sick patient.

Костюм, который вошёл в культуру Средневековой Европы: кожаные доспехи и маска. В «клюв» доктора закладывали травы, которые обладали антисептическими свойствами. При дыхании они нагревались и испаряли вещества, снижавшие риск заражения
This costume was popular in medieval European culture: leather armor and a mask. Doctors laid herbs in the beak that had antiseptic properties. When breathing, they heated up and vaporized substances that reduced the risk of infection.

We learned how to deal with “black death” in the 20th century. Epidemiologist Vladimir Khavkin created an inactivated vaccine against bubonic plague from temperature-killed plague sticks. The live vaccine was created and tested by the bacteriologist Magdalene Pokrovskaya. In 1947, Soviet scientists from the Red Army Research Institute of Epidemiology and Hygiene developed the antibiotic called streptomycin and began to use it in Manchuria, where an epidemic broke out at that time. All patients who received the new medicine recovered. Today, with proper treatment, 90-95% of patients survive.

Smallpox

Chinese annals mentioned smallpox in 12th century BC. In the 6th century AD, the disease entered Europe. Epidemics happened regularly and claimed up to 40% of patients. The ones who recovered often remained blind and had disfigured scars.

A person who had contracted smallpox usually did not get infected again. A Millennium BC the Chinese instilled a mild form of the disease, so, that a person would not become infected with a serious one. However, the course of the disease was still individual and the person who was vaccinated could die. There were few people who wanted to try their luck, and the disease spread further.

Екатерина II первой в России сделала прививку от оспы. Страна последовала её примеру и в XX веке для поступления в учебное заведение уже требовалась справка о прививке
Catherine II was the first who got smallpox vaccine in Russia. The country followed her example, and in the 20th century a certificate of vaccination was required for admission to an educational institution.

The safest way to protect oneself from smallpox was invented by the British physician Edward Jenner in the 18th century. He suggested that  vaccination from cow smallpox, which was easily tolerated by humans, could protect them from dangerous natural one. The doctor conducted an experiment on May, 14 in 1796. The vaccinated boy remained healthy. Jenner later discovered that a vaccine made using the blood of a previously vaccinated person is just as effective as one made from biomaterial that has been infected directly from a cow. Now, vaccination did not require waiting for rare outbreaks of vaccinia. The last case of smallpox was registered in 1977, and in 1980 the World Health Association announced the victory over the disease.

Poliomyelitis

The developed countries faced epidemics of poliomyelitis in the 20th century. The patients were mostly children under 5 years old. The virus affected the nervous system and the gray matter of the spinal cord. The person was broken by paralysis.

Poliomyelitis is not treatable, but it can be prevented. Salk’s inactivated vaccine was launched in the United States in 1955. At the same time, Virologist Albert Seibin invented a cheaper and more effective live vaccine. Soviet scientists Mikhail Chumakov, Marina Voroshilova and Anatoly Smorodintsev tested it on their children, grandchildren and relatives. The vaccine helped to stop the polio epidemic, which has been affecting the Baltic states since 1949.

Основатель и первый директор Института полиомиелита и вирусных энцефалитов АМН СССР действительный член АМН, профессор Михаил Чумаков за работой
Professor Mikhail Chumakov

In 1988, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution on the eradication of poliomyelitis in the world. After this initiative, the number of cases decreased by 99%. Today, the virus persists in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.

 

The last couture show of Jean-Paul Gaultier

In the finale, the fashion world threw the maestro into the air and chanted “Gauthier! Gauthier!”

Reading time 3 minutes

On January 22, Jean Paul Gaultier, the one we call the terrible child of fashion, presented what is announced to be the last Haute Couture show of his eponymous house. Tears, laughter and surprised exclamations were heard every minute at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Three thousand spectators could feel a concert atmosphere in the air. The one and only Jean-Paul Gaultier could provoke such emotions. He worked especially hard on his last show. On January 17, the designer claimed that he was saying goodbye to Haute Couture Week. He came up with about 200 images and decided to demonstrate them all on the catwalk.

Madonna Blonde Ambition Tour - Japan - April 20th, 1990
Madonna Blond Ambition Tour – Japan – April 20th, 1990

The guests enjoyed nostalgia throughout the show. There was the creative director of Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Gesquière, in the hall. He began his career with Gaultier as a junior assistant. Gesquière reminded Eva Herzigova, a Czech-Italian supermodel and actress, that he once dressed her before the show. Laetitia Casta, a French actress and model, who was also discovered by the maestro in 1994, came to the show in the same jacket she first appeared on the Jean-Paul Gaultier catwalk 26 years ago. The hall whispered that even anonymous Martin Margiela arrived at the Théâtre du Châtelet to say goodbye to the teacher. He assisted Gaultier in the early 1980s.

Dita Von Teese was wearing a dress made of bandage belts during the Jean-Paul Gautier show
Dita Von Teese was wearing a dress made of bandage belts during the Jean-Paul Gautier show

The performance began with a funeral scene from the 1966 movie “Who are You, Polly Maggoo?” Then people in black carried out a coffin with two cones. This was a reference to the legendary Gaultier cone bra in 1950th style, which Madonna glorified in 1990 as a part of her Blond Ambition World Tour. However, it was not a fateful lady in linen who came out, but the girl in a white dress, assembled from a dozen of other white doll dresses. Perhaps Gaultier wanted to say that couture was still alive, contrary to popular belief that this format was outdated. At least during the following hour no one doubted his idea.

Gigi Hadid joined the last Jean-Paul Gautier show
Gigi Hadid joined the last Jean-Paul Gautier show

Beloved muses of the designer convinced the public of the vitality of haute couture: Béatrice Dalle in the costume of a vampire smoked right on the stage, Dita Von Teese was wearing a dress made of bandage belts, Rossy de Palma looked like an eccentric widow. Coco Rocha repeated her legendary Irish dance. Irina Shayk commanded attention in a semi-sheer corset dress which featured the French designer’s iconic cone bra. Boy Georges sang his “Church Of The Poison Mind” while the crowd tossed Jean-Paul into the air for several minutes.

This parade will remain in the annals of fashion. The maestro assured that the last show did not sign the end neither of his career, nor of his brand. He said he already had lots of new projects, kept in secret.

From fast fashion to sustainable consumption

H&M is now renting clothes

Reading time 4 minutes

The Swedish retailer H&M has joined the eco-initiative previously put forward by competitors – Banana Republic and Urban Outfitters. The giant of the mass market began to test the service of clothes rental, the company said in its official statement. It was decided to start with a flagship store in Stockholm: residents of the Scandinavian capital will be able to rent their favorite items, wear them for a week, and then return them to the store. However, you should not flatter yourself – you can only have three items at the same time and the pleasure is not for free. The price of renting is 350 SEK (≈ 2,350 rubles) per item.

Interior of Times Square H&M store. Hennes & Mauritz  is a Swedish multinational retail-clothing company, known for its fast-fashion clothing for men, women, teenagers and children.

We have been looking in this direction for many years and are happy to finally provide fashionistas with the opportunity to rent items from our collections. H&M is committed to changing the way we manufacture and consume fashion”, said Pascal Brun, Head of Sustainability Department at H&M.

In order to inspire customers to reuse and recycle their clothing, H&M opened an atelier in the same flagship store in Stockholm. So, the Swedes will be able not only to rent new clothes, but also to repair the “oldies” of the wardrobe.

H&M flagship store at Times Square (New York, USA)

Innovations will be tested during three months and, if they turn out to be successful, will be introduced in H&M stores around the world. We can only wait until the innovations reach Russia, and not to forget about another service available at Moscow H&M stores. They accept clothing for recycle use.

It is worth paying tribute to H&M. The Swedish company passed the year of 2019 under the “eco” sign. The brand completely abandoned plastic bags in favor of paper bags and presented the next collection of Conscious Exclusive clothing made from recycled materials. The designers utilized pineapple fiber instead of genuine leather, waste from oranges instead of silk. These are modern environmental alternatives to raw materials of animal origin.

 

 

3 countries provided the Moscow museum with Marc Chagall’s works

The exposition of Russian-born Jewish artist is exhibited in New Jerusalem

Reading time 3 minutes

Modern Art paintings were provided by The Centre Pompidou in Paris, The Museum of Marc Chagall in Vitebsk, The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, Chagall Museum in Nice and private collections from Russia, France and Belarus. The project’s curator was Ekaterina Selezneva, an expert from the Marc Chagall committee in Paris. She explains why the exhibition is hosted in The New Jerusalem: “All his life the artist was searching for His Jerusalem”. The New Jerusalem appeared in the vicinity of Moscow in the middle of the XVII century. Patriarch Nikon planned to create an architectural copy of the Holy Land near the capital. And in the XX century, a museum was built in the monastery. It was then separated from the monastery and began to operate independently. This New Jerusalem History became an impulse for the organizers to talk about religion, life and love on The New Jerusalem’s soil, taking as an interlocutor the artist Marc Chagall, who also managed to combine religious traditions and cultural spaces.

“Twelve Tribes of Israel” were created by Marc Chagall in 1959-1960. Private Collection

The exhibition features 238 works of art, including 22 sketches that Russian viewers will see for the first time as well as 105 biblical engravings. The last ones the artist painted by hand and gave as a gift to his second wife Vava Chagall.

"Portrait of Vava" was created in 1966 in Paris. You can the Eiffel Tower at the top right and The Paris Opera at the bottom
“Portrait of Vava” was created in 1966 in Paris. You can the Eiffel Tower at the top right and The Paris Opera at the bottom. Private collection

The idea of ​​the exhibition is expressed by the words of Marc Chagall himself: “Painting seemed to me some kind of window through which I flew into another world.” He claimed that he was “born between heaven and earth” and constantly resided in this “intermediate” space, understanding his existence in art and life, as being in a special dimension. For Chagall, there is no distance between the visible and the imaginary, between the subject and the symbol, between the concrete and the abstract. “He carries everything with himself” – as one of his key characters – a wanderer flying over the city with a bag over his shoulders, in which he carries all his belongings. “Honestly, I am a man with one house and a single picture,” the artist assured.

The work Chagall is most famous for is «‎Over the city» appeared in 1913
The work Chagall is most famous for is «‎Over the city» appeared in 1913. The Tretyakov Gallery

“Chagall’s characters are simply endowed with the gift of flying – like birds or angels. They are light, like happy love, weightless, like a dream, directed to heaven, like a balloon. The sky for them is the same habitat as the earth. Love transfers Chagall to other worlds, to distant and near cities,” says curator Ekaterina Selezneva.

«Clock with Blue Wing», created in 1914. Private collection in Paris
“Clock with Blue Wing”, created in 1914. Private collection in Paris

The title of the exhibition “Chagall: Between Heaven and Earth” refers to various periods of the artist’s career. His works of the first quarter of the XX century were devoted to “earthly life”. The paintings of the next 25 years are connected with “travels and bridges”. It was then, in 1931, that the author visited Israel. Paintings of the late period of his life may be characterized as “heavenly being”.

Holocaust through the prism of modernity

The story of 13-year-old Hungarian Jew Eva Heyman recreated in Instagram

Reading time 5 minutes

The story of the Jewish girl Eva Heyman, who died in the Auschwitz camp in 1944, was brought to live in Instagram. The creators of the project showed what would be the life of Eva if she posted on her social media everything she had been going through.  

«The Nazis conquered us»

The eva.stories project recreates the events which Eva wrote about in her diary. It consists of 70 short videos that reflect the life of a Jewish family during the war years. Everything is depicted in insta-stories format, in the profile, the authors of the project posted only a poster and a trailer. The role of Eva Heyman is played by British actress Mia Quiney.

View this post on Instagram

Eva.Stories Official Trailer

A post shared by Eva (@eva.stories) on

War first comes to Eva’s family when her cousin gets deported to Poland. After some time, the accomplices of the Nazis come to the pharmacy of the Eva’s grandfather and confiscate it in favor of the government. The decisive moment for Eva Heyman’s fate is the day when she sees the incoming Nazi army. From now on, she promises subscribers to broadcast everything that happens. The girl shows the details of life with a yellow star on her chest. In the ghetto.

Ева Хейман, жертва Холокоста
Eva Heyman is a Holocaust victim whose story served as a reminder of the tragedy

The project was sponsored by the Israeli businessman Mati Kochavi and his daughter Maya. It was launched on May 2nd, Holocaust Memorial Day. Before filming the story of Heyman, Mati and Maya Kochavi looked through about 30 diaries written by the victims of those events. But Eva’s diary stood out for its modernity and simpleness.

Злосчастная желтая звезда, которую евреи впоследствии были обязаны нашивать на наиболее заметные места своей одежды, стала самым зримым символом нацистского антисемитизма.
The Yellow star – a symbol of Nazi antisemitism, all Jews were obliged to sew it on prominent places of clothing

Before launching the eva.stories the authors widely announced the project both on street billboards and in social media. The initiative was supported by Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel. The account was also noted by different celebrities in their profiles, including the actress Gal Gadot («Wonder Woman») and the stand-up comedian Sarah Silverman. As a result, the account had around 200.000 followers before it was even launched. Now Eva’s profile has about 1.7 million subscribers.

Билборд с рекламой Instagram-аккаунта Eva.stories
The billboard advertising the Eva.stories Instagram account

The initiator and producer of the project Mati Kochavi believes that the world is beginning to forget about the terrible events of the Holocaust. That is why he created the project and invested about $5 million in it. Neither the government nor any organizations financed the creation of Eva’s profile.

Although, there are some critics on the way. Disputes in the comments under the publications in Eva’s profile do not cease. Users think that the profile is not serious enough. Critics of the project reckon that it is inappropriate to use Emoji, stickers and hashtags when it comes to the Holocaust. Many also criticize the implausibility of Eva’s modern story. For instance, how did the girl manage to charge the phone if there was no electricity in the ghetto?

According to Maya Kochavi, their team was expecting this kind of reaction as well. However, Kochavi family is convinced that they chose the best way to address the situation: the problem of antisemitism does not lose its relevance. Instagram platform was chosen for a reason: it was important to bring the issue to the younger generation.

Homemade Mario 2

What was shown at the presentation of Super Mario Maker 2

Reading time 4 minutes

The holiday began a month earlier for fans of Nintendo products and Mario fans. While the rest are waiting for June and E3, Nintendo has pleased its users with an online presentation of a new game in the Super Mario Maker series.

For the first time, Big N decided to show Super Mario Maker 2 during the presentation of Nintendo Direct in February. But since then, the new official information about the game has not appeared. Even small pieces of the puzzle, which were shown in the short first trailer, were enough to interest the fans. Hour and a half trailer analysis – proof of this.

Nevertheless, there were still a lot of questions. For example, how can it work online? Or: how will the search for levels be arranged? Nintendo answered all these and other questions.

WHAT’S NEW?

First, the creators confirmed the topic based on Super Mario 3D World, the design of blocks, objects and opponents, associated with hero. Secondly, they showed a lot of new types of surfaces and environments, and a new opportunity to change the day and night. For example, in SMM2, it will finally be possible to create slopes that were not in the previous game, and also to regulate the water level.

Another significant innovation was the ability to customize the direction and speed of scrolling the screen. For example, now levels can move not only from left to right, but also in other directions. In addition, the requirements for the passage of levels can also be customized, not limited to only “run to the end.”

In addition, the construction can now be done together on one console, this feature was not available in the previous game.

ONLINE

Now the level search system will also work differently. Players will receive a set of filters and tags to simplify the search. However, if you don’t really want to search, you can choose “Endless Challenge” – an automatic selection of endlessly changing levels, which continues until the player plays a certain number of times.

One of the most serious innovations of SMM2 is the ability to play against others or with other players, creating competitive communities.

Super Mario Maker 2 can be played with friends.

On sale Super Mario Maker 2 will appear on June 28. In addition to the publication of the game, a limited annual subscription to the Nintendo Switch Online service will be available. Creators will give a stylus as a gift for pre-ordering the game.

In addition, during the presentation Nintendo announced the release of vouchers for the purchase of games at a discount. They can also be used to purchase Super Mario Maker 2 and other company games.

The first Super Mario Maker was released in September 2015 for the Wii U and was praised by critics, fans, and became popular on YouTube and Twitch. The game was a kit of levels, based on the Super Mario games and allowed to create, share and play them.

Garbage was at the bottom of the deepest point of the ocean

American explorer made a record dive into the Mariana Trench

Reading time 4 minutes

Victor Vescovo descended into the deepest point of the ocean. His bathyscaphe reached the bottom of the world famous Mariana Trench. The depth of immersion was 16 meters more than in the previous descent in 1960.

Впадина
Mariana Trench – Oceanic Deepwater Chute in the Western Pacific

The American explorer reached the Challenger Deep, the deepest known point in the ocean, its depth is 11,000 meters.

 

What did the researcher discover?

Victor Vescovo, a retired naval officer, was stunned to find something similar to plastic in the deepest point of the ocean. At this time, he was in a machine specially designed to withstand tremendous pressure. After spending four hours under water, he remembered only rubbish. It was a plastic bag and candy wrappers.

Plastic waste in the ocean, according to UN estimates, reached 100 million tons.

Последнее погружение достигло 10 927 м (35 849 футов) под водой - новый рекорд
The last dive at 10,927 m (35,849 ft) is a new record (Photo: TAMARA STUBBS)

For the last three weeks, Vescovo has dived four times into the Mariana Trench to collect various biological samples and forms of rocky soil. He is the third man who descended to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. The last who tried to do this was Canadian film director James Cameron in 2012, and before that, one of the US Navy lieutenants in the 1960s plunged into the hollow. Vescovo dive was the deepest in history.

The expedition was watched by Atlantic Productions, which collected material for a documentary for the Discovery Channel. Work under pressure, poor visibility and low water temperature made it difficult to shoot. Anthony Geffen, creative director of Atlantic Productions, said it was the hardest shot in his experience.

Виктор Весково провел четыре часа, исследуя дно траншеи
Victor Vescovo spent four hours, exploring the bottom of the trench (Photo: ATLANTIC PRODUCTIONS FOR DISCOVERY)

“Our team had to pioneer new camera systems that could be mounted on the submersible, operate at up to 10,000m below sea level and work with robotic landers with camera systems that would allow us to film Victor’s submersible on the bottom of the ocean. ”

After the completion of the expedition at the end of this year, the team plans to transfer the apparatus to scientific institutions. After, the researchers will be able to use the device in further work.

A video game as a piece of art

Can games ever rise in aesthetic and intellectual levels?

Reading time 8 minutes

From the ancient times people strive for expressing themselves via art, inventing more and more tools for this. Literature, fine arts, statuary, architecture, music, photography, cinema – all of these are media created in a result of technological progress and a drive for sharing new ideas.

Video games is a form of creativity as well, however, they are not construed as a real art yet. Although, a couple of examples can make people doubt in this statement.

Journey

Speaking of aesthetic qualities and audiovisual sequence of video games, we should look a little closer at Journey by thatgamecompany.

"Захватывающее и медитативное приключение" - так часто описывают Journey
An exciting and meditative adventure is a common description for Journey

Journey tells us a story about a nameless figure in a vast desert, traveling towards a mountain in the distance where he expects to find something that he needs for some reason. The game lacks any kind of speech or dialogue what creates space for  personal interpretation of the story. The game never tells anything directly, but the surrounding world gradually reveals the veil of secrecy around the place and our main character. All of these creates a unique magic atmosphere of journey where adventures await at every turn.

At the same time a meditative and exciting game Journey has conquered the hearts of most people and earned the recognition of critics.

Cuphead

Another example of a video game as an audiovisual piece of art is Cuphead by Studio MDHR Corp.

Even a promo cover sends us to the 1930s

A visual style of Max Fleischer’s animation of the 1930s, hand-drawn characters and backgrounds, and an unpretentious story about a cupheaded boy attach the feeling of an interactive cartoon to this game.

Cuphead is a synthesis of old-school creative techniques and up-to-date technologies. The game has been fully appreciated by players as well as by critics.

Stanley Parable

Not all of the games can boast a vivid and memorable visual image like previous ones. But the main distinctive feature of Stanley Parable game is its story, or, to be more precise, the absence of it.  

На мониторе больше нет указаний, и Стенли отправляется в путь
The main screen of Stanley Parable

This game can be colloquially called a walking simulator. At first sight, the game is pretty obvious: nothing interesting is happening and the character can only wander around and interact with a short amount of objects. Nevertheless, this kind of games can be very surprising when it comes to a unique way of storytelling.

Stanley Parable’s main character is clearly Stanley, an ordinary office worker who does not have anything to do but pushing the buttons on his monitor. However, one day all his colleagues disappear and the flox of commands on his screen stops.

During the course of the game, speechless Stanley is being guided by a storyteller who voices over all character’s moves and gives him hints of what to do next. The player can either listen to the invisible narrator or disobey his suggestions, on which the guide will immediately react. The game encourages the players initiative to make their own decisions, giving them a control over situations and total freedom. To be completely honest, the reality is that every single step is already planned by creators of the game, but it only means the games plays chicken with people pretty well.

This is the Adventure Line at the beginning of the game. Although, you don’t have to follow it

Stanley Parable is hardly a first experiment with an interactive form of narrative, but it is one of the most successful and highly rated ones in this peculiar genre.

Papers, Please

Even the most seemingly boring professions turn inside out in video games. For instance, the Papers, Please game tells the story of a typical border crossing immigration officer.

Even by looking at logo of the game, we can find a lot of common features

The main character is an immigration officer in the fictional dystopian country of Arstotzka. His motivation is pretty simple: the more people he checks the higher his salary is. Every day the government introduces new rules and changes the list of necessary documents for which you have to closely monitor. If you make too many mistakes during checking you will get a fine.

Very soon there is going to be too many documents that it will be impossible not to miss something

Looking through the documents, the player gradually finds out more and more about Arstotzka and the surrounding world. Although, the work at border crossing post is not that easy as it might seem at first. One character forgets his or her documents at home, or has an important operation, but does not have a necessary pass, another might have all required documents, but he is a suspect in following people he wants to kill. These and many other moral dilemmas give Papers, Please a new depth.   

What can be more lame that checking documents the whole day? But this dark, Kafkaian game immerses players into the story and does not let go until the very end.

There should be mentioned much more fascinating projects which go beyond these usual “shooters” and  “puzzles”.  But, as with any work of art, you better play these games once instead of hearing about them a hundred times.

 

Heroes of popular manga are coming to life

My Hero Academia is going to be a new Hollywood blockbuster

Reading time 3 minutes

Legendary Entertainment announced the production of a live-action film adaptation of the popular manga My Hero Academia. For the first time, this information appeared on informational websites Nerdist and The Hollywood Reporter.

From the side of Legendary Entertainment, the film will be produced by Alex Garcia (Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla (2014), Krampus) and Jay Ashenfelter (Pacific Rim Uprising, Winners TV-series), and from Shueisha, manga’s owner & publisher, side – by Ryosuke Yoritomi. The Toho company will be managing the project’s distribution in Japan. The information about directors, cast, and release dates is not revealed yet.

Фрейм из манги "Моя геройская академия"
A frame from My Hero Academia

Considering the popularity of the original manga and its anime adaptation, this production of an action film based on the same story seems to be a sensible move. Over a couple of years, Hollywood had tried to remake the most popular Japanese mangas and anime-adaptations into real blockbusters, however, these attempts crucially failed. For instance, the most recent film adaptation of Ghost in the Shell with Scarlett Johansson turned out to be a complete disaster. This film got a lot of negative reviews and ended up costing the producers around $60 million.

Legendary Entertainment takes a huge risk by deciding to produce a feature film adaptation of My Hero Academia. Although, taking into account the original theme and overall success of superhero films, this risk can be justified.

 

My Hero Academia is about an alternative world where 80% of population has developed powers, known as quirks, and superheroes are executive fighters against crime. Unfortunately, Izuku Midoriya, the main character, was born without any quirk, but he has a big dream of becoming a professional superhero.

Kohei Horikoshi created the original manga My Hero Academia in 2014. It was published by Sueisha in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. Now the series has 17 million copies worldwide, and it became the fourth popular manga in 2017. The anime-adaptation appeared on big screens for the first time in 2016, the third season of which was finished in September 2018. The full-length movie My Hero Academia: Two Heroes premiered earlier in August 2018.  

“We wrote in the police wrote, but that did nothing”

Основатель движения «Альтернатива» — о современном рабстве

Reading time 8 minutes

Sorry, this text was translated with Google machine. Mistakes and misunderstandings are possible!

Oleg Melnikov, the leader of the "Alternative"
Oleg Melnikov, the leader of the “Alternatives”

In Russia 7 thousand people annually fall into labour or sexual slavery. The movement “Alternative” is, perhaps, the only Russian organization that deals with rescuing people from the hands of fake employers. Its founder, Oleg Melnikov, admits that he once believed slavery an anachronism.

Free plan

The movement “Alternative” emerged in 2012 and exists on donations. Oleg Melnikov has never aimed to free people from slavery — began as a political activist, organized “Antiseliger” All agreed the case: a friend asked Oleg to help a relative in Dagestan. Then it seemed that it would only be one trip. Now “Alternative” — only what Oleg.

“we then Released five people, brought to Moscow a bunch of footage, sent to all journalists, but nobody was interested. Fame we got after galyanovskoe case (the infamous shop “Products” in Sochi, where for several years held in slavery employees), then the media started to take us seriously”.

Simple schema

Usually salvation is on such algorithm: came-saw-was taken. The staff of “Alternatives” trying to keep it quiet. Volunteers are always ready to clashes to go on the safe path sometimes does not work.

“The Police are trying to attract, but according to the existing article of the criminal code “human trafficking” is extremely excited few things, and brought to the prison unit. The article is raw and has not been modified since 2003. It is unclear who should be considered slaves. Police asked: “are You chained?”. Where did they get this idea? Slaves were never chained, they would not be able to work.”

According to Oleg, the police of the CIS looks bad people, with the exception of Belarus. Every loss is an emergency. Once the higher ranks of the Belarusian police have contacted “Alternative”, not relying on their Russian colleagues.

Statistics on missing persons in the territory of the Russian Federation
Statistics on missing persons in the territory of the Russian Federation.

Saved

With the rescued men employees of “Alternatives to” contact rare: for a small state too many of them. Usually the victims are willing to accept the help, but there are exceptions.

“it was an amazing case of a girl from Ghana. Came to pick her up, and she doesn’t want to go. Somehow found out that she is afraid of voodoo. She took a tuft of hair, and she decided that she would kill her and family if she leaves. As a result, one of our volunteers bought at the baby store tambourine, knocked at it and said, “voodoo Magic shot”. Funny to us, but for her the real problem.”

“Urgently need a job”

Fall into slavery through recruiters, fake ads on the Internet. Many are looking for ways to make money in a crisis. Take a ticket to Moscow all the money in the hope that they will find jobs and begin to look directly at the station. They are suitable, offer job, for example, in the suburbs, after the name to note. Wake up people then anywhere: in Kaluga, Russia, in Dagestan. Into sexual slavery through lure casting Agency. Mostly girls find in Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, Greece.

Signs of fake listings

    • Ad type “known to the Agency invites…”.
    • Questionable email address without a website company.
    • Great salary for the type of activity that does not require special skills.

The Concealment of data on place of work, the activity, the amount of salary.


the

Strangers among friends

“Usually, other people don’t. For example, the story of the shop in Sochi. Communicate with local, they say, “so what, big deal, but there bread is delicious.” There beaten and raped — all confirm that for help addressed too. “We in the police wrote, and that did nothing” — meet the witnesses”.

The authorities do not cooperate with volunteers. Most embassies do not want to intervene, trying to protect themselves, are actually condemning the man to wander. “Alternative” has now filed a criminal case. In their the shelter there lived four freed man from the CIS. The police accused the volunteers in aiding the illegal migrants. Attempts to explain in what have not resulted.

a helping Hand

The most difficult to find volunteers in not the most attractive job. Sometimes the task for those wishing to help are six months later, when many burn out. In a constant state of “Alternatives” from seven to fifteen people. 90% of the cases — a routine that is not paid for, and many victims cannot help. Per day lost more people than is for the year, even with the help of the Foundation “Charity” and the organization “Lisa Alert”.

“After all this time are no longer perceived as tragedy. Messages do not cause emotions. This is not cynicism, it’s just that when I see tears every day, it is not imbued”.

How to help

alms
Very often beggars in the streets — people who are held in slavery.
  1. do Not give money.
  2. Offer food or water.
  3. Ask whether you need help.
  4. having Received the standard answer, ask unusual questions: where they came from, where he worked, what he studied.
  5. Offer to call relatives.
  6. When people start to talk about yourself, offer assistance. Tell me that help will come now.
  7. Call the hotline “Alternatives” on the phone +7 965 345 51 61.

What to watch