The photo exhibit Best of Russia is held in Yekaterinburg for the 3d time. It represents the photos taken by Russian professional and amateur photographers in 580 Russian locations in 2012.
The project shows the life of the country during one year viewed by Russian citizens. Here you can travel to the wilderness of Kamchatka, see the rural South of Russia or witness the riots in Moscow.
The youngest participant of the project is 7 years old, the oldest is 80 years old. The only rule of the contest: photos have to be created in Russia!
The exhibition is open in Yekaterinburg till August 25th in the Museum of Fine Arts on Vainera st. 11 from Tue. till Sun.
opening hours: 11.00 - 19.00, Wedn-Thur 11.00 - 20.00
admission: 150rub, photo: 50rub The cash desk closes 1 hour before the closing time of the museum.
click to the gallery to see some more photos:
Yekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theatre is celebrating its 100th Anniversary. While it’s difficult to get a ticket to the theatre in October, you can get backstage, see the interior of the theatre and event listen to live performances at the Museum of Local Lore (Kraevedchesky Musey).
Opera and Ballet Theatre opened on 12 October 1912. It had taken 20 years for the Yekaterinburgers to collect money (300.000 rubles) for the construction. The theatre with 1500 seats was classy enough to invite the Tsar. The very first performance staged here was a tragic opera by Mikhail Glinka ‘A Life for the Tsar’. 6 years later the same stage was used to announce the assassination of the Tsar in Ipatiev’s house of Yekaterinburg.
The museum exhibition gives you a chance to see the costumes from the collection of the theatre.
You can also try pointe shoes on and do a few moves.
Standards for ballet dancers have changed over the last 100 years. A ballet dancer in the early 20th century was short and rather plump compared to their counterparts of the 21st century. Today, a ballet dancer is skinny, she has an average height, a small head and a long neck. Her weight is about 45 kg.
Admission: 150 rub. Live performances are included in the price. Concert list is here http://uole-museum.ru
On last Sunday of August the anual Baby Buggy Parade takes place in Mayakovskogo Park. All Russia and Yekaterinburg in particular is experiencing a baby boom at the moment. So it’s not a problem to find buggies but for the parade they should look extraordinary as well as the baby and its parents.
This year there were 112 participants. Yekaterinburgers were really creative. A few themes very especially popular: pirates and boats, princes and princesses and Yemelya, a lazy character of a Russian fairy tale who is sleeping on top of a hot oven all the time.
I didn’t stay till the end of the parade, so I don’t know which baby buggy won the first prize in 2012. All of them were charmingly beautiful and funny. Click on the gallery to see more babies, buggies and scrap sculptures in between.
I’ve been going to Church on Blood with tourists almost every day. From the start of January we could see how sculptors from all over Russia were working at their ice pieces in front of Church on Blood for the annual competition The Star of Bethlehem. Finally, the work was done on January 7th, the day of Russian Orthodox Christmas.
Merry Christmas everybody! And if you can’t come to Yekaterinburg in January, here are the photos for you…can you recognize Nicolas II there?
Russian Germans (Russkie Nemtzy) is a generalized term used in the Russian language to name the people whose forefathers moved to Russia before the Revolution or were sent to labour camps during the Great Patriotic War in the USSR. Many of them migrated to Germany in 1990s but some decided to stay. For instance, my elderly neighbor babushka Anna said she was too old to integrate into the western society. Assuming that she lived in the industrial town of Nizhni Tagil, she had probably been a victim of Stalin repressions but she never spoke about it.
There are about 600 000 Russian Germans living in Russia today, over 20 000 of them live in Middle Urals. The Festival of German Culture in Russia was held for the first time in November in Yekaterinburg. About 200 of Russian Germans came from different parts of the Urals to share what they have preserved: folk songs and dances, national costumes and German quisine. By the way, the first Governer of Sverdlovskaya Oblast , Eduard Rossel is Russian German too. Other famous Russian Germans in the Urals are fellow artists Lew Weiber and Michail Distergeft.
Both were sent to Gulag and spent their youth working in coal mines in Karpinsk (Northern Urals). They were released After the Second World War. Weiber studied at the college of Arts in Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg). Distergeft did the same in Nizhni Tagil. Of course, they were ‘ne vyezdnie’ (not permitted to travel abroad). There was a term Inner Emigration in Soviet artists’ lexicon in 1960s. It meant that looking for harmony the artists preferred to retreat to nature in order to create something for themselves and for a close circle of friends.
Yekaterinburg Gallery of Modern Art (www.uralgallery.ru) exhibited the paintings of Weiber and Distergeft as a part of the Festival of German Culture. The exhibition was called “The nature of memory. The memory of nature” It had Weiber’s landscapes of the Urals and graphic works by Gistergeft who portrayed the life of the Germans in labour camps. The graphic works were made in 1990s when Distergeft lived in Oranienburg, Germany.
Sverdlovsk Regional Museum of Local Lore (Kraevedcheski Muzey) is probably the largest Yekaterinburg. It has four halls which tell the history of the Urals from the ancient tribes to the Romanovs and Second World War. A new photo exhibition ‘Les Voyages in URSS’ tells about the so-called “Zastoy” era – years of stagnation in the USSR.
Jacques Dupaquier is a French photographer who visited the USSR during the times of Khruschev and Brezhnev. Dupaquier first came to the USSR in 1956 as a member of the Society of French-Soviet Friendship.
He took part in a car rally Paris-Tashkent with a stop in Sochi in 1964.
Finally, the French photographer travelled by Trans-Siberian railway from Vladivostok to Moscow in 1975. Has Russia changed since those days? You decide...
The exhibition ‘Les Voyages in URSS’ is open till 21st December 2011
Sverdlovsk Regional Museum of Local Lore is located in the centre next to the Iset Hotel. The museum has a hall of ancient history of the Urals with the Big Shigir Idol, the oldest wooden cult statue known in the world history (9.5 thousand years old).
Make sure you get to the Hall of the Romanovs on the top floor. It contains an interesting collection of letters, documents and personal belongings of the last Russian Tsar. The collection gives a better understanding of the unhappy events than a visit to Church on Blood or Ganina Yama Monastery
Address: Prospect Lenina 69\10
Tel: +7 (343)376-47-78
I noticed that unlike Russians foreigners like Russian cars, Volga in particular. So this post may be interesting for you!
This year Volga celebrates its 65th Anniversary. The owners of old Volgas in Yekaterinburg organized a rally and an exhibition of antique automobiles behind the Cosmos cinema last weekend.
The first Volga manufactured by GAZ was a symbol of higher status in the USSR. Very few people could afford it and those who could have chauffeurs. Usually they were people from the government or the KGBs.
The Soviet comedy film of 1966 ‘Beware of the Car’ (US title: Watch out for the Automobile) tells a story of a Soviet Robin Hood – a humble insurance agent who stole Volgas from crooks, sold them and transferred money to orphanages.
Later upgraded Volgas were used as taxi cabs and ambulances.
Today the drivers of Volga have a negative reputation on Russian roads. They are stereotyped as arrogant drivers who never yield to others. Probably, it is so as many Volga drivers are people over 50 and the feeling of superiority from the Soviet past stuck in their minds.
However, on the day of the rally all cars gave way to antique Volgas, honking in respect. GAZ-21 Volgas look really amazing on Russian roads. Happy Birthday, Volga!
A farewell to arms? Well, certainly not in the Urals. The region has always been a large industrial centre and it’s due to many defence plants that the Urals had been closed to foreigners until 1991.
VII International Exhibition of Armament, Military Equipment and Ammunition ‘Russian Expo Arms’ was traditionally held in Nizhni Tagil in 8-11 September. Nizhni Tagil (140 north of Yekaterinburg) is known in Russia as a homeland for tanks. UralVagonZavod is the factory that started producing T-34 tanks in 1941. The latest model T-90C was shown in action on the training field. It was impressive and very loud, just what the public likes.
Prime Minister Putin, who visited Expo Arms and checked out the T-90 tank, said that the exhibition should draw attention of international specialists and promote development of the international military-technical cooperation. The countries especially drawn to big machines were Vietnam, India, Zambia and Uganda. There were also producers from Ukraine, Belarus, France and Italy this year.
Russian Expo Arms is an open event – no passport controls for foreigners. Tickets cost 300-500R and it was easy to get free VIP tickets especially if you know someone in Nizhni Tagil. As I was leaving the premises, a TV reporter was interviewing visitors asking what they thought about event. A local man’s reply was obvious yet very absurd: “I feel so proud of my country, I’m proud of how strong Russia is”. Surely, there is nothing wrong about being proud of the country that can make a big toy able to destroy hundreds of people at a time. But it was said on September, 11, that’s why his comment sounded bizarre to me…
However, there was something for pacifists too – KAMAZ and Ural trucks were my favourite: they can work at -50 and +55C, climb steep hills and swim in lakes. This car is worth buying for those who dream of traveling from Moscow to Vladivostok and back!
Unlike Mr. Putin I visited Russian Expo Arms on the last day and missed a demonstration of air weapons – launches and bombing from helicopters and planes (not that I really regret it). The weather on that day was gloomy so my photos are a bit dark but it adds to the ambience of Russian military pride. There are also sunny photos by Benjamin Gaillard, a French expat in Yekaterinburg. Enjoy!
p.s. ExpoArms is held in early September every second year. The next one is in 2013
Innoprom 2011 is an international Ural exhibition and forum of industry and innovations held in July 14-17 in a newly built Yekaterinburg Expo near Koltsovo Airport
President Medvedev stated in May at the Skolkovo innovation centre that innovative infrastructure should be applied in other regions. Sverdlovskaya oblast is one of these regions. The list of participants includes Russian Railways, Ltd. "Gazprom Transgaz Ekaterinburg" and the Swiss Association of Mechanical Engineers Swissmem, as well as collective expositions of Germany, Israel, China, Poland, Canada, Austria and Vietnam.
Apart from industrial objects there is an interesting exhibition of Contepmporary Art
and a must-see for families with kids TechnoDrom - a project of a scientific museum for children which, I really hope, will be opened in the Urals one day...
Innoprom is opened daily 9-19. There are free shuttle buses running every 20 min from the main train station and from the metro station Ploschad 1905
p.s. Innoprom is now held every year in middle July
You might have wondered why the area in front of Kosmos Cinema is enclosed by walls this summer, obstructing the view of the city pond. It doesn’t look like a café and the entrance fee is 120 roubles. Actually, I got there accidentally - because Mr. Putin was in the city many central streets were closed even for pedestrians. A lady at the entrance promised me uplifting experience like back in childhood, meanwhile my money will go to the local charity for children with cancer. That was enough to convince me to buy a ticket to the sand world.
The project is called Sand Festival (www.sand-festival.ru). It was created by professors and students of the Ural Academy of Architecture in Yekaterinburg. They made 14 sand sculptures of popular Russian and foreign cartoon characters.
The sand box is opened until August 31 daily from 10 to 23 and there are workshops for children at weekends. Entrance fee: 120R for adults, 90R for students, 50R for school children, free for children under seven.