Random people of St. Petersburg during summer 2020 (PHOTOS)

Реализм кухонной раковины (“Kitchen Sink Realism”)
A photographer decided to observe the life of the city, taking pictures of random passers-by and trying out a bit of small talk, a concept Russians are not used to.

During the lockdown, Nika Voznesenskaya, a photographer from St. Petersburg, started taking pictures of random people in the streets of the city and recording short conversations with them. Some of the characters she met were very colorful.

“I’ve always enjoyed observing people and the way they dress, talk or smile. I want to show that the city has many strong people who haven’t been broken by the circumstances surrounding their lives,” she told the local website, Bumaga. Nika posted her shots of people and her exchanges with them on her page Реализм кухонной раковины (“Kitchen Sink Realism”), on the Russian social network VK. Here are a few.

1. - Can I take a photo of you?

- Is it because of my dress? Do you like it?

- It’s very floral!

- I’ve had it for five years now and every year someone compliments me on it, but it’s so old now.

2. *I’m in an underpass and a young girl is handing out leaflets*

*I take a leaflet and she starts thanking me*

- Thank you, have a good day!

- Can I take a photo of you?

- OK, shall I pose in any way?

- Just be yourself.

- Will you find me in VK?

- OK. What’s your name?

- Madam Axel, I’m the only Madam Axel there.

3. *I'm walking round Tsarskoye Selo palace*

- Can I take a photo of you?

- Sure. Let everyone see me!

- Are you from St. Petersburg?

- Yes. I decided to do a bit of travelling in the last month of the summer! So I gathered my savings and off I went!

4. Can I take a photo of you?

- Yes.

- What’s your name?

- Alberto!

- Where are you from?

- I’m from Cuba!

5. *I'm walking along the embankment*

- Young lady, are you from Moscow, too? Everyone I’ve met today has been from Moscow!

- No, I’m local.

- Let’s test your knowledge. Behind me is a castle. Do you know what happened there?

- The assassination of Paul I.

- You know, I’m from Leningrad, I’m 82! I grew up on Vasilyevsky Island - I spent all my childhood there! Then I did a doctoral degree, I’m a linguist by training, I’ve taught Russian in five different countries!

- Can I take a photo of you?

- Oh no, my hair’s a mess!

- Please! I want a lot of people to see you.

- I’ll do it, but only for you.

- Can you take off your face mask?

- No! I abide by the law!

[Ed. - The mandate for wearing a face mask outdoors in St. Petersburg was lifted on June 1, 2020]

6. - How is work going? Are a lot of people coming to ride your little boat?

- No, very few, there are hardly any tourists!

7. - Come on then, take a photo of me! I’ll put on a smile right away!

- I need a third shot, can you pose in some way?

- OK, I’ll do an Usain Bolt impression.

8. - Can I take your picture? You seem so nice, I couldn’t just walk past.

- Lera, come here. Hey, look at her posing!

- Thank you! You were great! 

9. - And why do you want to take photo of me?

- You’re rather snazzy: tracksuit top, headphones, sandals, bike.

- Yeah, I’ve got a fab bike. It’s an Aist.

10.  - (Parents) Just don’t photograph them with any negative connotations, the times being what they are…

- Children are children, they’re innocent.

11. - Can I take a photograph of you?

- Will I have to undress?

- Err, no! What’s your name?

- Valery!

12. - Good heavens, you’re so ginger! Can I take a photo of you?

- Hey, if you want red hair I’ll let it down for you!

- You’re so radiant and sunny, you give off so much energy. Can I ask you to shake your head again?

- Yes!

13. - What’s your name?

- Enna Alexandrovna. Are you from Leningrad, or are you visiting?

- I’m from here.

14. *A guy is finishing his beer”

- Can I take a photo of you?

- Err? What? Me? Go on then… How did it come out?

- Well, um, you’re squinting a bit.

- That’s normal. It’s the beer.

15. *I’m taking a picture*

- Don’t!

- Why not?

- I look like a wreck.

- No! You’re very beautiful!

- All right, I’ll just put some lipstick on. I’ve just been to church and it’s not allowed there.

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