Artemy Lebedev is a Russian designer and restauranteur who blogs as “Tema” on the LiveJournal forum. He recently posted a series of four photographs taken by another LJ blogger, Internallife, which we republish after the jump. They are interesting because they seamlessly integrate partial animation. In one photo the model’s belly rises and falls while she breathes, in other she blinks her eyes, creating a startling contrast. The images drew nearly 700 comments on Lebedev’s blog, and show that Russians are capable of doing really clever things sometimes, if they choose to apply themselves.
They also so how utterly corrupt Russia really is, because they show up only in the context of borderline pornography and other low pursuits, some actually criminal like hacking and piracy. Though the photographers assure readers that the model is of legal age and employed, she looks like a child, and why must this technique be shown in this context? Why not something a little more . . . civilized? Why can’t these Russians see that that if they need to assure readers the woman is of legal age, they probably should have considered a different model, or an non-sexual way of showing their talent. Such moral thoughts seem totally beyond Russia’s ken. In light of our editorial in today’s issue about a brutal gang-rape of a drugged female student in London, these photos offer a terrifying type of insight about the attitude of Russians towards their women.
Anyway, it’s too much Russia in a nutshell (and we do mean nut!) for us to overlook. If you cannot see the animation, try a different browser or click through the original on Tema’s website.
WARNING: NUDITY FOLLOWS! EXERCISE DISCRETION!
A fake advertisement for the Central Department Store (TsUm) in Moscow created by an artist who wants to lampoon Russia’s presidential duo. This almost rivals Batman and Robin!
A photo essay, courtesy of LR reader MCUSA:
You think horse should be used here, stupid foreigner? Ha! Russian laugh at you!
It has an effective range of up to 1,000 yards!
Source: Oleg Panfilov’s Facebook.
You said it, sister!
After the jump, photos of miraculously beautiful turn-of-the-century Russian Orthodox churches (and, yes, even a Roman Catholic one!) as photographed by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii. These and hundreds more like them were eradicated by the same KGB whose proud servant now rules the country, and many of their resident priests were murdered. How ironic that now these same priests are selling their souls to the devil and cooperating with Vladimir Putin to build a new ne0-Soviet state where religion is used as an element of power.
Courtsey of Amnesty International.
Under the headline “Misery, thy name is Russia,” SILive.com reports on an art exhibit at the Alice Austen House Museum in Staten Island, New York (follow the link on the artist’s name to view the full body of work):
Purges and pogroms, famine and war, Lenin and Stalin. Misery, thy name is Russia.
There’s an ironic upside, naturally. Bad luck and trouble are a far better wellspring for playwrights, novelists, composers and photographers than good fortune and happy times.
In “Russian Archive,” contemporary photographer Donald Weber locates Soviet junctures where the awful past flails at the present.
Medvedev the dwarf, a true work of cartooning genius from Sergei Yelkin, better known as Ellustrator.
That Oleg Kozlovsky is one cool dude, and he has married a fabulous babe. Some postcards from his wedding album. Chew on these, Mr. Putin: Jail him illegally as many times as you like, he just goes on.
Going to the chapel and they're gonna get married!
Yet another towering inferno in Russia, as photographed by a Live Journal blogger. Russia has the highest rate of fatality by fire of any industrialized nation in the world, ten times higher than in the United States. Note that this is a brand new building, not a Soviet-era tinderbox, where the risk is far greater and the Russians drop like flies.
A Russian photographer offers the following images of migrant workers in Moscow, how they live and how they work. Their indomitable spirit is an inspiration to us all, as is the rancid nature of their neo-Soviet oppression. Click the link for many more (hat tip Global Voices).
If we told you that one of these two men is Gazprom chief executive Alexei Miller, and the other is the head of Ukraine’s gas company Naftogaz, Oleh Dubyna, and told you they were watching officials exchange documents at the Gazprom headquarters in Moscow on Tuesday after the “gas war” between their two countries ended, you’d know instantly which man represented the winning country, woudn’t you? That would of course be the smiling man on the left — namely Mr. Dubyna. Photo from the Moscow Times. Another Putin scheme goes down in flames. Nice scowl there, Alexei.
In our last issue we published a post called “Putin the Wimp.” Now here’s some photographic backup for that conclusion. Shown above is Vladimir Putin the flunkie (are those pants actually purple?!) with his boss former St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak, circa 1994. Sobchak, who would be drummed out of office and then flee the country in disgrace while facing a massive corruption investigation (much like exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky), gave Putin his start in political life. Perhaps Putin hates Berezovsky so much because the oligarch reminds him of things he’d rather forget. Putin is also a plagiarist. That may have been one of the key features of his resume that attracted Sobchak.
Thanks to English Russia, we offer the following photographic proof that various Russophobic myths about Russia are totally false, based on the scenes ER offers from an average Russian wedding:
Georgia under the Russian jackboot
The Georgian women bury their dead (New York Times)
In Gori, the bodies pile up in heaps in a pickup truck (New York Times)
As Russian tanks roll in, Georgian women beg for mercy (New York Times)
Clicking on the photos will enlarge them.
By e-mail a Georgian reader transmits the following photographs of the brutal carnage inflicted on innocent civilians by Russia’s barbarous thugs in the city of Gori, far outside the killing zone in Ossetia. Make no mistake; these Georgian civilians have been intentionally targeted by the KGB regime of Vladimir Putin, punished for daring to desire to live in a free and independent Georgia. Our source reports that there are still casualties today, that bombing is still underway in Gori.
“One of the largest state-sponsored monuments to the Gulag, this monument sits atop a hill in Astana, the capital of independent Kazakhstan. It incorporates the names of all the major Gulag camps in Kazakhstan, images of barbed wire and the black raven (symbolic of the prisoner truck bearing its name). Many of the non-Russian republics of the former Soviet Union have more readily dealt with the legacy of the Gulag, as they have built it into a narrative of what they (the Russians) did to us (the non-Russian peoples of whatever state). Of course, this simplifies a very complex history in many cases, but at least allows for the beginning of a conversation.”
Where is the Russian Astana?
Russia can never escape the eternal shame it has brought upon itself for attempting to sweep the horror of the gulag under the national carpet. And the new online exhibition “Gulag: Many Days, Many Lives” from which the above photo was taken only serves to memorialize this point. A project not of the Russian government but of the American George Mason University and the Center for History and New Media, it documents the horror of worshiping Stalin, eerily similar to what is now happening with Vladimir Putin. A live exhibit will open in Washington DC later this summer.
And it underscores the single most important fact about Russian history: By far the worst murderer of Russians is other Russians. Russian xenophobia is, quite simply, utterly insane.
Russian blogger Savva Terentyev, upon learning he would be sentenced to a year in prison (suspended) for writing a comment on a blog the authorities didn’t like, and below him the “judge” who issued that sentence in a decision that was ridiculed as being quasi-literate. Global Voices has the wrap-up and a review of Russian blog postings on the subject including the pathetically cowardly statements of Russia’s #1 blogger Anton Nossik, who merely says he’d prefer the police catch violent criminals rather than scouring the blogosphere.