The “evil” sun of Bashkortostan

The first time I arrived in Ufa, after a quick 27-hour train trip from Moscow, it was about 30 below, with a heavy snowstorm and strong winds. Not the best weather to fall in love with the place and definitely horrendous conditions to take pictures, as visibility was almost nil. Conditions only improved on the third day, with overcast skies and no falling snow, but I already had a series of commitments that day and I could only take a very quick walk around town with my camera. I was just thinking how much I would have liked a blue sky to complement all the white on the ground and on all roofs, when I saw this graffiti.

As a rule, there is very, very little graffiti in Russia. At least the “unsanctioned” kind, meaning that you can sometimes seem huge murals on the side of houses or other buildings, clearly made with official approval and not “under the cover of darkness”. The rare “spontaneous” graffiti I see in Russia often puzzles me, though. The local street artists have a clear preference for English, maybe trying to emulate their New York role models, but often not a great grasp of the language.

Take the one pictured above, for instance. Did the artist really mean that the sun is evil? Maybe because it refuses to show its face for such a large part of the winter? And if so, why does it have such a cute smiling un-evil face? Anyone cares to contribute an idea or a possible interpretation in the comments? 🙂

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