Thread, saw, pliers and other everyday items found in a woman’s handbag

Sergei Stroitelev
To the male half of humanity, a woman’s handbag is like Russia – a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. It seems to contain items for any occasion, be it a broken nail or saving the world.

Look at a woman’s handbag. Then at the pile of stuff inside. Then back at the handbag. The pile is always bigger!

Well, now with the help of St. Petersburg photographer Sergey Stroitelev the mystery of women’s clutches, purses, and backpacks can finally be revealed. Stroitelev asked some female acquaintances, as well as a few strangers he bumped into on the street, to photograph the contents of their bags.

“Some of them thought I was a mugger, some thought I was insane, and some complied. The latter, I noticed, took great care to arrange whatever items they possessed on a black piece of cloth I carried around in my own backpack, before they allowed me to photograph them,” recalls Sergey.

The photographer also asked permission to snap the women’s ID photos. In his opinion, the combination of each portrait and personal items gives a non-trivial insight into the mentality of Russian women.

Alena, 17, student

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Alexandra, 26, freelance designer

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Elena, 56, businesswoman

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Katya, 37, journalist

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Kristina, 19, art student

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Kseniya, 31, photographer

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Liza, 21,  unemployed

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Lubov, 31, gallerist

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Masha, 56, jeweler

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Natalia, 58, security guard

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Olga, 33, unemployed

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Polina, 29, seamstress

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Svetlana, 24, administrator

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Tatiana, 51, director of a social institution 

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Ulyana, 22, philosophy teacher

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Vera, 62, kindergarten teacher

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Olga, 42, professional stalker and mother of two

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