Jul 3, 2008

The Russian Set

These photos were next to each other in the bin and I have good reason to believe that they come from the same album, probably one once having belonged to a Russian immigrant.This one looks innocuous enough at first glance: a group of women in dated clothes standing around on a warm day. They are holding placards. I don't recognize most of the faces, but then in the middle, slightly sideways there is the beard of Karl Marx. I've seen enough of it growing up to recognize it anywhere. On the back of the picture there is some Cyrillic writing and the date: May 1, 1956. The infamous year of the Hungarian anti-Russian uprising, and the subsequent bloody crackdown, but that didn't happen till that fall.
Two middle-aged women posing for the photographer, one wearing an odd shaped hat. In the background: a public building with a Lenin head.
This photo has no images of communist celebs, nor any note on the back, but it was among the others and it looks so much like a scene from a Russian village circa mid-twentieth century, that it is almost a cliché. It looks like a wedding - the woman in the middle, towards the back is wearing a veil.
This one is much older than the others. It's typical old studio portrait and could have been taken anywhere, but again there is Cyrillic writing on the back.

There is a narrative or two somewhere, real or imagined, connecting all these photos together.