Anna Sircova

the 10th ward project

The project aims to document the state of healthcare and social systems in Latvia through personal experiences of patients at the Palliative Care Unit at Latvian Oncology Center (the 10th ward), and in the long run raise funds for it.

This project has started with the wish of my father to be photographed during his last few months. It  presents the story of the only palliative care unit in the Latvian Oncology Center, serving as a hospice for terminally ill people who have to queue for up to 3 weeks to get admitted. About 25% do not survive this long. Additionally, unit faces the danger of being replaced by plastic surgery department.

It is a story about how some public decisions (austerity measures in this case) can directly affect personal “quality-of-life” or “quality-of-death”. Latvia dies out by the rate of 30 persons per day. Demographers estimate that around year 2200 there won’t be Latvia any more….

I wonder, when the last person dies, will the death also cease to exist, since there won’t be any one left to experience it? It’s like old philosophical question: “If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound?”

Project’s website

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