Monday, May 31, 2010

The Siberia of the Mind

Siberia has a presence in the imaginations of people all over the world. This is a picture from the City Museum of Irkutsk where they have clear plexi people floating in various rooms. Plexi people are a great addition to my imaginings of Siberia. In this museum, the guide opened old wooden drawers and carefully unfolded lacy cotton undergarments for me. My private collection of 18th and 19th century underwear photographs is expanding. I think Tanya Marcuse has the ancient underwear art photography market covered. I'll just have to be satisfied with my own silky portfolio. No, I'm not going to show them. Here's the Irkutsk Chinese Market just to get you back to the 21st century.

More to come.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Last Days in Siberia

Our arrival in Irkutsk over a week ago was a homecoming of the most delightful kind. People seemed really happy to see us, our old apartment was waiting for us, and we even found our old toilet seat. On the down side, the toilet seat had seen better days, and better bottoms. The apartment had been depleted of Vivian's kitchen utensils from 2 years ago and the beautiful banks of the Angara were blighted with a new, and expanding, parking lot (seen above). Adding insult to insult, I was accosted by a guard when I entered the parking lot with my camera. While repeating, "I love you", he made me erase any of the pictures that showed the destruction of the formerly beautiful coast line. Here are a few that he missed.
This one was too dark to show all the garbage that was strewn around.
The pictures that looked directly out onto the river were less offensive to the guard. Therefore, he let me keep this one. He missed the one below which shows the offensive bulldozers.
I could go on, but I'll cut right to Lake Baikal, the source of the Angara. Below is Alexey washing something in the lake. If you want to see more pictures from Angarsk and Archan, check out The Coruscating Camera. I've mostly been blogging from Wordpress, but as of the first Wednesday in June we'll be in Uzbekistan where Wordpress is banned. All my blogging will then be from Asia Central.