Doctor Grandma

An ophthalmologist has been working at the Institute of Ophthalmology for fifty years – a Zaborona photostory

hallgrimsson doctor babushka cover  1024x683 - <b>Doctor Grandma:</b> An ophthalmologist has been working at the Institute of Ophthalmology for fifty years - a Zaborona photostory - Заборона

Vera Serdyuchenko has been working at the Filatov Institute of Ophthalmology in Odessa since 1969. This, perhaps, is the most authoritative scientific institute in Ukraine, and a thousand children and adults pass through its halls annually, all with various vision problems.   

Icelandic photographic Óskar Hallgrímsson, exclusively for Zaborona, has documented a few of the working days in the life of Vera Serdyuchenko – and the entire world of science that is typically inaccessible to laypeople. He was amazed by the fact that this 82 year old woman, despite the threats of the coronavirus, continues to see dozens of patients every day. She earns only about $200 a month for her work – including allowances for seniority and her academic degree. She buys the single-use masks and gloves, necessary for protection from the coronavirus, like the rest of her colleagues at the institute – out of her own pocket.   

Most of the professor’s patients are children with binocular vision dysfunctions. Professor Serdyuchenko says that she can’t abandon her patients, which is why she hasn’t yet retired, but instead continues to work from early morning to late evening at her institute.

Óskar Hallgrímsson is a photographer and artist, who for the past six years has focused on shoots in Asia. He’s especially focused on drawing attention to pressing social issues. He’s published a photobook looking into sex work in Thailand, worked on a project covering migrants from Pakistan and India who live in Dubai, as well as on a project look at the fight against poverty in the slums of Mumbai. More of his work can be found on his site.