Světlana Synáková

* 1971

  • “I thought I was living in the happiest country on the Earth. Understandably. The propaganda started at young age, first, one was a Little Octobrist, then a Young Pioneer, then Lenin’s Youth and then one became a Communist. Everything was beautifully interconnected and one lived in constant euphoria because those people in the West lived in misery. Constant propaganda. Now I see it from my point of view. They tried hard so that all people would have the same standard of living and that they’d be all happy. There was free education, free healthcare but when one lived in that bubble, there was hardly any chance to look at it from another point of view.”

  • “In our neighbourhood, in those blocks of flats in Caucasus, my classmate, he was not only a good boy, he worked for a crime gang, so, like, normally, a car drove by and they shot him to shreds by an underpass, even with his car. That was happening all that time. That’s what was just about the same as in Moscow. It seemed to me that human life had almost no value back then.”

  • “I got a job in a seaside spa for sick childern from Chernobyl. I thus witnessed what it had done to people. There were children from twelve to sixteen. Iwas a caretaker there, we worked in shifts, day shifts, night shifts. Some of the children didn‘t look sick at all. Some were visibly disabled, there was a boy of eleven who was already over two meters tall. Or a girl which was born with damaged limbs, all four of them. But there was a plenty of kids who looked perfectly normal. Beautiful Slavic girls with long hair, those that become first loves. And then you look in their medical files and you see that inside them, almost nothing works. The doctors at the spa said: ‘Until thirty at maximum, that’s all.’”

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    Brno, 28.12.2019

    duration: 01:58:47
    media recorded in project Příběhy regionu - JMK REG ED
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Instead of Soviet propaganda, there’re Russian crime gangs, I’m at home in the Czech Republic

Světlana Synáková in 1990
Světlana Synáková in 1990
photo: Archiv pamětnice

Světlana Synáková, née Kleshnikova, was born on the 15th November of 1971 in the town of Belorechensk in the Kuban region in the then Soviet Union. She spent the first three years of her life at the Chukotka peninsula, then she lived in the town of Mirnyy in the middle of the taiga forests where her father worked as a rescue and her mother taught Russian language and literature. In 1983, they moved to Tuapse at the foot of the Caucasus mountains and at the Black sea coast due to persistent bad health. After Svetlana went through the so-called ten-year-school, she enrolled a college of linguistics. After having graduated, she taught English at a private high school in Moscow. Then she returned to the Caucasus where she worked as a caretaker in a seaside spa where children recovered from the health damage caused by the Chernobyl disaster. In the 1990’s, she met her future husband in Ukraine. Later, they moved to Brno where Svetlana led a dance school. Nowadays (2020), she still lives in Brno with her husband and their children. She works as a vegan and vegetarian chef. In 2019, she published Atlas of Soups.