The Kruzhok (‘hobby club, extracurricular activity, circle’) Independent Educational Project has published a documentary about the village of Shapsha in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug (KhMAO). The movie was shot in 2019, when Kruzhok held a web development school for local teenagers, who then created a website about Shapsha. The creators of the project told 7x7 about it.
The moviemakers spoke about the people living there, opinions, culture, and atmosphere, rather than Shapsha itself. Mushroom researcher Nina, physical education teacher Sergei, and woodcarver Anatoly are the movie characters. Kruzhok’s student Pasha gave a tour around Shapsha, and Tanya, another student of the school, showed Khanty-Mansiysk 30 km away from the village.
“Shapsha is rich not only in nature, but also in very special people — that is why we show stories not only about teenagers, but also adults, their dreams, hobbies, and plans,” said the moviemakers.
Kruzhok is a volunteer project from Moscow. Kruzhok comes to villages with educational programs in journalism, music, urban studies, website development, and architecture at the request of local residents. Teenagers hone new skills and create their own projects within a week.
Since 2017, the authors of Kruzhok have conducted 19 training programs, helped develop at least 12 web-sites about Russian villages, where they tell about the place and the people living there. For example, they helped create websites for the Tambov village of Glazok, the Vladimir city of Gus-Khrustalny, and the village of Khryug in Dagestan. The videos are published on the YouTube channel. You can see their projects here.
Kruzhok relies on funding from the organizers and donors. You can submit a project attendance form for 2021 to the e-mail address [email protected].
Shapsha is a village with a population of about 800 people, located 30 km away from the district center. There is a secondary school, a kindergarten, a feldsher-midwife station, a post office, a community center, and a library. The land where the settlement is located belonged to the indigenous Ostyaks (a nomadic people currently called the Khanty) in the 18th century.