Left Outside

Utterly fascinating photos of Imperial Russia

Captured: Russia in Color

An absolutely amazing collection of photos taken by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii in 1910-1915 through Russia.

What struck me was how similar things seem to know. The colour of the grass and soil, rather obviously, is completely the same as that in the woods 20 meters from my front door.

I get a real sense of looking at modernity, just a modernity that existed 100 years ago.

Go to the Denver Post and have a look.

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Filed under: Society

7 Responses - Comments are closed.

  1. Great images, thanks for sharing them.

  2. Chris H says:

    There’s a site called englishrussia.com that has loads of these collections, especially Soviet era ones on it. Worth a look if pics like that are your interest.

  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by asquith, Left Outside. Left Outside said: Utterly fascinating photos of Imperial Russia: An absolutely amazing collection of photos taken by Sergei Mikhail… http://bit.ly/bYlxib [...]

  4. Paul Sagar says:

    Hmm, given that Russia in 1910-15 was possible the most backwards and retrograde peasant society in Europe, your feelings of modernity based on the colour of the grass are probably misplaced.

    We have to wait til Uncle Joe comes alone with his 5 year plans to see modernity getting under way in Old Muscovy.

    • leftoutside says:

      Well, of course you’re right. (Actually, the last decade of imperial russia wasn’t an economic back water. Some of the fastest catch up growth occurred there before the revolution ~10% a year a times)

      But, I don’t know. When I’ve been reading books like the Idiot or imagining times past its still infected with a kind of “things were different then.”

      Of course the natural world wasn’t. I walk through my woods most weeks and I hadn’t really thought that you could do that someone has had the exact same walk but ended up approaching their shack without running water or electricity.

      I can’t be expressing myself too well. Suddenly, seeing that grass in colour it made it a lot easier to imagine myself there.

  5. Alex says:

    You may enjoy this:

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/05/27/once_upon_a_time_in_afghanistan?page=0,0

    Apparently, the photos come from the grandfather of the scarily smart Cosma Shalizi:

    http://cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/weblog/663.html

    whose eclectic blogging I only half understand.

    You also might like Adam Curtis’ blog, who has access to the Beeb’s archives:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/

    • leftoutside says:

      Good work! Sorry, you got caught in the auto filter because you sent lots of links.

      Luckily they aren’t for erectile dysfunction and I’m happy to let you through.

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