pennypaperbrain: (Sherlock brain by redscharlach)
Akhmatova monument 3
Monument to Anna Akhmatova, looking across the river to Kresty prison. This is part of a monument pair, the statue of Akhmatova set back from the river and then the Monument to Victims of Political Repression on the embankment. These are in considerably better nick than the prison exterior. Akhmatova and environs seem to be properly cared for, complete with newly-dug flowerbeds in front of her. (Possibly this is because her environs are a car park, and cars are very important here; the monument pair is bisected by yet another massive embankment highway. But a high standard of maintenance is not the norm.) The complete lack of monumentage outside the prison itself makes a bit more sense once you cross the river and see what's there. It is after all a working jail, operating theoretical modern justice, as well as a site of historical injustice.

Monument to the victims of political repression 2
Monument to the victims of political repression.

Grubby Kresty prison environs and small hard-to-read plaque.

Prison. Not getting any more cheerful. Note meteor-like Russian attack preciptation.

Kresty and modern advert
Cultural montage. Over-grand yellow Stalin-era apartment building, unreconstructed prison, shiny western cars, and extremely au courant billboard. It's advertising self-contained suburban apartments with 'good neighbours guaranteed'. If I'm reading the cultural cues right, the viewer is supposed to identify with the ordinary little girl on the right, who can't do her ironing because the board is being hogged by an all-new, all-false and probably economically illegitimate New Russian sex goddess. Choosing who lives next door is a bit of an urban Russian obsession, after decades of living in state-allocated communal flats.


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July 2014

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