ROMANTICS OF THE SOVIET ERA
Baikal-Amur Railway (in Russian is often called simply BAM) is the eastern part of the Great Northern Railway Line, a Soviet project started in 1928. The new railway was supposed to help develop the natural resources of the areas through which it was laid, but in reality the construction of industrial complexes along its length did not take place either under the USSR or after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The new railway was also supposed to be a northern alternative to the Trans-Siberian Railway with special strategic importance. Young people on the wave of romanticism of the 70s of the twentieth century went to eastern Siberia to build the Baikal-Amur Mainline — the railway to the bright future of the country. They became pioneers of harsh and lifeless territories.
The Soviet state was very interested in the success of the project. According to the stories of the builders of BAM, they had everything — benefits and high salaries, housing and cars out of turn. But the living and working conditions of the people were very difficult. Damp, cold, hard physical labor, and living in tents until they settled down and built houses and new cities.
Many went not only for the sake of the promised prospects, but for the sake of the» party » — there were young people from all over the Soviet Union, a real international and incredible energy at the construction site.
After a while, the big country broke up and the built road ceased to be strategically important. Some of the pioneers remained to live in the cities and towns they built. And for many, the road to a bright future turned out to be a road to nowhere.
After my journey and acquaintance with the heroes of this story in 2019, the photos were in the archive. But after a while, I was suddenly able to look at this series with different eyes, the distance in time changed my perception of the whole story.
The photos were taken from Taishet to Sovetskaya Gavan, in the spring and summer of 2019. Almost five thousand kilometers, which were passed by the heroes and the last romantics of the great era.