Moscow lawyer Anastasia Ryakovskaya has been taking rare and exotic shots of the bygone era for three years. Abandoned hospitals, electrical power plants, schools, cultural centers and gigantic Soviet mosaics. Russia alone still has thousands to explore.
“These trips leave the strongest impression on me. You only have to view the abandoned Aniva lighthouse in Sakhalin, or the abandoned village of Kadykchan in the Magadan Region - once inhabited by thousands,” she says.
Ryakovskaya believes that these locations will all face a similar fate and simply wither away without anyone to maintain them. Her mission is researching them and putting them on the map. She sets off on these journeys to capture their final moments before they are bulldozed and erased forever.
Photographer and blogger Lina Reznik searches abandoned places across the world, but Russia has special significance.
“Someone began boarding up the entrance from the outside. My first thought was to make a run for the exit, screaming that we’re inside, but we chose to hide behind some columns. It’s true - being buried alive at an abandoned station is not the finest of outcomes. But to be caught by security or police was an even less attractive one. We then punched our way through the metal (thankfully, it was held in place by only a single nail) and climbed out at the speed of light,” Lina says on her profile.
‘Soviet Innerness’ is all about Soviet nostalgia, where Italians Elena Amabili and Alessandro Calvaresi probe the depths of Soviet aesthetics through abandoned interiors, or, more precisely - through the prism of the neverending love affair with wallpapers, prevalent in CIS countries.
The idea for the account emerged after their visit to Latvia in 2014, where they went on one of those industrial tours mentioned earlier. Decaying, abandoned Khruschev-era buildings (or, ‘khrushchevkas’, as we know them) have so much to offer in the way of interior decoration that focusing on their walls alone proved more than adequate for a whole separate project, described as “wallpaper journeys behind the Iron Curtain”.
The colors and patterns of wallpapers layered over each other reveal a whole world that no longer exists. And Elena and Alessandro regularly receive correspondence from fans that claim to have experienced an “awakening” at the sight of these vintage wallpapers.
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