In my project I study a part of Saint-Petersburg, the territory that was formed around The Western High Speed Diameter, or WHSD — toll road that cuts the city. The multibillion highway became the new symbol of the city and a tourist attraction — people do selfies and shoot movies in front of it, come here to walk with children, to barbecue or even on a romantic date. The road has changed the landscape of the city and accessibility of some districts dramatically, but if there are any changes under it?
Whatever innovative WHSD is for Saint-Petersburg, around it, in front of it the environment of the russian existence stays and is formed exactly the same as it used to be formed for many years: rusted gates, industrial littered wastelands, abandoned cars and pastures are followed by golden domes, palaces and fences colored in wild optimistic colors. I am documenting surrealistic reality, where all that gets along — our typical russian environment, with WHSD as a background on every photo. Reality of high hopes and big disappointments.
Some russian people still live in the remains of their utopian dreams about heaven on earth, some were disappointed a long time ago and some people are discussing the so-called “special way” of development of the country. My generation — present-day thirty-year-olds were raised with the slogan “Russia — the country of opportunities!” but the everyday world hasn’t been so encouraging. Even when some big changes are made in a particular territory, it seems they don’t make any actual difference, and we continue to live in our chaotic strange space that sometimes borders on a fairy tale that came true.