In November 2013, as a phogorhapher I accompanied the Olympic Torch relay. I shot en route capturing cities and their atmosphere, as well as people and their mood. I saw Russia from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean – 17 cities are situated between Kaliningrad and Vladivostok. The country seems so diverse: North sea, boundless expanse, tundra, and the Far East bays. But I did not discover new or exotic Russia. I noticed how little has the country changed since the Soviet Union time — peeling paint, a snow till windows, and Lenin statue on the main square. Static nature and wait state. It seems there was no period with more than 20 years after the Soviet Union collapse: the biggest country congealed at the end of the Gorbachev perestroika, but without the former optimism. The Soviet Union has not collapsed yet, it continues to rust quietly. People wait for something new, as they waited for the Messiah or the upbuilding of communism.
Bright events do not happen often in a human life. The Russian province is just waiting for the Olympic torchbearer. For the majority of Russians this event is like Gagarin’s flight. According to the local, nothing fascinating than the Olympic torch relay has happened sine 30 years of his life in Magadan city. A standby regime is a special condition. A person who is unable to go ahead, can spend many years in such a state.
A feeling of the return to the past did not leave me during my trip. Fragments of reminiscences from the distant childhood, May-Day demonstrations, and November parade. Sometimes it seems that the past did not go anywhere, it is soaked to the walls of houses, to pedestals of monuments, and even to the grey northern clouds.