Between earth and sky



The problem of abandoned villages exists in Russia for a long time. There are a lot of them specifically in Tverskaya Oblast’. There are endless forests and swamps. Two centuries ago, people came and began cultivate the land. They built houses and erected bridges, fell in love, got married and had children. And then something happened and there left less and less of dwellers. In Medvednoye village 12 years ago already were only 5 dwellers. Now it is abandoned.

Medvednoye village can be found on google maps. In the official web-site of Kesovogorsky District, where Medvednoye is situated, is written that the dwellers of this village were attached to the polling station in 2018. But according to the population census in 2014 there already had been no one in the village.  On the Internet this village exists and still lives. But in real life no. In the village there are electricity and a red “social” phone. Also it has a postcode, but there is nobody there to receive a letter.

Rickety houses look with empty windows. These houses cannot be ranked among architectural monuments. They are doomed to slow destruction. Now they seem to be stuck between life and death. But soon a forest will grow again in this place and nothing will remind that people once lived here. Such villages in Russia are called “deathlike” rather then “abandoned”. And the amount of them increases very quickly.

Medvednoye, Russia – November 2020

Ekaterina Soloveva

I was born in Moscow, where live till now. I am an art photographer. I work on concepts of memory and national, historical and self identity.

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