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Moscow and Muscovites from the 19th to 21st Century: Photo Exhibition
September 20, 2011 12:08

The Red Square, 1908-1910

Moscow is not an ordinary big city, like thousands of others. Moscow is not a silent, cold mass of stones placed in a symmetrical way… no! Moscow has its own soul, its own life”, - wrote the great Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov. The same way think the organizers of “Moscow and Muscovites” exhibition, that took place between 3 and 18 September 2011 at Journalists Union “Photocenter”.  

Young photographers have presented historical city views, comparing the past and the present of the capital. All photos are black and white, documenting the most notable places and giving the possibility to look at Moscow through the prism of time. In some parts the city has completely changed - high-rise constructions replaced small wooden houses, virgin land turned into paved walkways. In other parts the city has stayed the same as in 1800s, and the modern time could be recognized only by foreign cars and “Coca-Cola” signs.

No detail escapes the shrewd eye of the photographer – crooked streets, picturesque  boulevards, buildings of historical importance, and people, of course. Muscovites of the Third Millennium are not visiting theaters in tailcoats and top hats, nor are they using carriages. They have no fear of Khitrov Market, they no longer queue in the famous GUM store. They are walking in the neon streets, doing extreme sports and hurrying down into the underground. And sometimes they take no notice of their attractive city. 

The project divides the capital into the Old and New Moscow by showing photos from different epochs. Some works are related to the period when Gilyarovsky, a well-know Russian writer, lived, and one can easily get into the spirit of the city. Retro pictures with narrow cobbled alleyways, merchant houses and tiny churches give an insight into the life of 19th century Moscow. Other photos present an industrialized megalopolis that keeps up with changing times and knows how to advertise itself. The authors of this exhibition tried to estimate what Moscow has lost and gained at the same time. They have discovered a unique city with reach culture, antique atmosphere and modern face.  


In photographs, from top left: 

Bolshoi Theatre, modern time 

A shop-window of famous Perlov Tea House on Myasnitskaya street, 1900

The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and the Kremlin, 19th century

People in the square near the Triumphal Arch, expecting the appearance of Russian emperor Nikolay II and members of the royal family, 1913

A view from the terrace of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, modern time

Natalia Semicheva (photos by the author).



Author: Natalia Semicheva

Tags: Russian culture Moscow Russian photography   

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