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100Eyes

Mother
Russia
AlexeyTikhonov
ValeriNistratov
Tatiana Plotnikova
OlegKlimov
TatianaBogachevskaya
AlexanderGronsky
Katya Bogachevkaya
For most of the 20th Century, Communism was
the myth that shaped the Soviet Union, a myth in
that promised social equality, but delivered instead
a suffocating goverment and a paranoia that made
even America’s feeble attempts at socialism look
passable. But with the myth of the fall of the
Berlin Wall, and the opening of the Iron Curtain,
a new problem emerged for Russians, the free-
dom of self-discovery brought a crisis of identity,
since Russians were no longer Communists what
were they now? And with religion having been
repressed for decades, and academia stifled by the
Communist Party, how were Russians to shape a
new one?

I am not an expert on Russia, but the photogra-


phers included in this issue of 100eyes, Russians
themselves, all seem to linger on the issue of
identity, if not explicitly, as in the great body of
work created by Nistratov, then implicitly, as we
see in essays by Tikhonov, Gronsky, Plotnikova,
and Bogachavskaya who reveal a yearning to es-
tablish a new identity, a new myth, to replace the
fallen ideology of the Party . Communism and
the American Dream, seemingly opposing ideas,
and illusory at best, both benefiting the politi-
cal systems and economic systems which thet
emerged from, as if organically.
Tatiana Plotnikova

The Bathers
Addicted to Alcohol
Tatiana Plotnikova
Alexey Tikhonov

Here and There


Valeri Nistratov
The Forest Steppe
Forest Steppe is Valeri Nistratov’s first book and appears as a gloomy, magical and fascinating
finalises his 12-years long travels exploring the space.
Russian identity. Mongolia provided Nistratov
with his first insights into Russia. According to- The Forest Steppe is avaible on Amazon books.
him, ancient Mongols prayed to the Ever Blue For further information visit Nistratov’s website
Sky. One can easily feel the essence of this idol- at: www.valerinistratov.com.
ization looking at Nistratov’s works. Sky taken as
the background makes epic heroes of soldiers hav-
ing fizzy drinks as well as of a girl tightening the
rider’s belt against the background of mountains.
Mongolian landscapes stay in mind while mov-
ing farther to Russia — to many-storied buildings
surrounded by impassable dirt and chimney-stalks
of heat stations. They gain the traits of Asian my-
thology. The beautiful indifference of the void sky
makes everything going on below it meaningful
anew.

Nistratov is preoccupied with the pagan mentality


of the people settled on the vast expanses of Eur-
asia. Mari babushkas sacrificing geese and Slavic
witches burring the shrove-tide rag-dolls of Spring
as well as other affecting pictures accompany us
and the author in his journey deep into Russian
world. In this world dreary men drinking against a
forest background might turn out to be the mem-
bers of a mystical congregation. Central Russia
Oleg Klimov
From River to Sea
City
of
Brides

Alexander Women seeking marriage in the town of

Gronsky
Novgorod were asked to create a picture
of their ideal husband with the use of
police software.
Travesty:
The Phantom World
of the
Transvestite

Katya
Bogachevkaya