Plasticine Putin

After living in Russia for over a year, I decided to start this blog to share what I see and experience every day, living in the largest country on Earth and one certainly filled with co-existing opposites. The blog is called Russia Through The Lens, not just because I publish one (or more) picture I... Continue Reading →

Alexander Lodygin, the Russian who invented the lightbulb

Who invented the lightbulb? Here's a question that will certainly spark discussion! (pun intended). In addressing this question, historians Robert Friedel and Paul Israel list 22 inventors of incandescent lamps prior to Thomas Edison. They conclude that Edison's version was able to outstrip the others because of a combination of three factors: an effective incandescent material, a higher vacuum than others... Continue Reading →

The Lady of the Korolenko

The town of Vyborg lies on the Karelian Isthmus near the head of the Vyborg Bay, 130 km (81 miles) to the northwest of St. Petersburg and 38 km (24 miles) south of Russia's border with Finland, where the Saimaa Canal enters the Gulf of Finland. The town has changed hands several times in history, most recently in 1944 when the Soviet Union captured it from Finland during World... Continue Reading →

Gagarin’s glory

If you can read Cyrillic, you will already have noticed that the town's name is Gagarin, in honour of the first human to journey into outer space: Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin or simply Yuri Gagarin. The Soviet cosmonaut was born on March 9th, 1934, in the nearby village of Klushino and after his death in 1968 (when the MiG-15 training jet he was piloting crashed) the city was renamed in his honour (and I suspect, but that's just my speculation, also because the former name of Gzhatsk - Гжатск - was all but unpronounceable!).

The Church of the Remarkable Lady

This is Успенская церковь, or Church of the Assumptionon on Kremlin Street in Suzdal, Russia. On the outside it is painted in dark red, with white edges that underline the original, irregular architecture.

Every war is different, but…

As I wrote yesterday in my post about the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow's Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art took place this year from March 10th to May 14th. A couple of months after the exhibition's end, one very profound quote has been "left behind". There is a construction site right next to the... Continue Reading →

On stage with Anton Batagov

For over 20 years Anton Batagov has been "one of the most significant and unusual figures of Russian contemporary music" (Newsweek, Russian edition, 1997). A little while ago I had the incredible opportunity to be ON STAGE with him in Moscow. Sorry to disappoint you, but you are not about to find out that I am... Continue Reading →

25 below

As I wrote yesterday, a good picture should always tell a story. So, in this respect, today's picture in not a good photo, as it does not tell much of a story on its own. But this time it comes with a real story. And I think it's a story that deserves to be told... Continue Reading →

The Great North

A couple of years ago I saw a very intense Russian movie: Leviathan. The story takes place in Teriberka, a fisherman village on the Barents Sea. I was immediately hooked: the barren location is spectacular in itself and the light of the great North is just, how can i put it?... magic. Getting to Teriberka... Continue Reading →

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