hidden features

Oleg Bitner


Oleg Bitner was born April 29th,1971 in Kazakhstan. In 2003, he started his career as a freelance photographer and cameraman. His work focuses on social issues, identity and human rights. Bitner has worked in Central Asia and Western Europe and is currently based in Karaganda, Kazakhstan.


Lullabies for Alyona 


During my life as a photo reporter, I have often worked with cerebral palsy patients. Regardless of their age, I feel sympathy for them. However I also always felt an invisible border separating me from them. Meeting with Alyona and Svetlana allowed me to forget that border.


I was working on a story about a canine therapy center in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. I wanted to show how their programs helped child cerebral palsy patients. In one of the classes I met a four-year-old girl Alyona who was brought to the center by her mother – Svetlana.


This is a story about a mother who has never given up in the struggle for her daughter’s health. This is a story about a girl who smiles at the specialists who just moments ago caused her unbearable pain during. This is a story about a mother and daughter’s life and relationship. But most of all this is a story is about hope.

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photo from the project