60 Kichmengsky Town and Its Dwellers

Kichmengsky Town and Its Dwellers

Posted on July 25, 2010 by team

Pictures of Kichmengskiy Gorodok in the Vologodskaya oblast area, and its dwellers.




Galya and Sveta

Antonina, Tatyana and Nastya

Slava and Aleksey


Sergey and Aleksey

Kseniya and Galya


Natalya Ardalionovna




Nina Timofeevna





Sasha and Lyosha







The Pautovs’ family: Sasha, Valentina, Maksim

Anzhela and Aeronika





via olya-ivanova

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60 responses to “Kichmengsky Town and Its Dwellers”

  1. Gene Garfield says:

    these are fantastic photos. thank you for posting them. real salt of the earth.

  2. zimbo1947 says:

    Wonderful pictures that show a great sense of dignity in the people.

  3. Ben says:

    Amazing project – great work.

  4. Fascinating pictures! Each one of it has a story to tell. Incredible stuff.

  5. Kent says:

    Why do almost all of those people just look dirty?

    • JZ says:

      You think there are water pipelines in this village? So they don’t have the ability to wash regulary.

    • Tani says:

      They are not dirty! They simply live in the village and have to take care of their animals and crops. Not like sitting in the office.

  6. Ivana Benderova says:

    It is Kichmengskiy Gorodok in area Vologodskaya oblast’ – not “Kichmengsky.” These photos were made by olya_ivanova (://olya-ivanova.livejournal.com/463895.html).

  7. lithuanian says:

    Not a single drunkard? Strange…

  8. Tom says:

    Beautiful. I would love to see more pictures like those of Russian villages.

  9. Julie says:

    Lots of plastic sandals.

  10. delroy says:

    It seems not everybody can afford shoes.

  11. walkerz says:

    Beautiful pictures. Thank you for this.

  12. Desperado says:

    Er…how much for the girl with the white top & shorts on pic No. 15? Do they accept credit cards?

    Jokes aside, I must admit, lovely pics of rural and almost untainted Russian country life. However, if any of the pretty young ladies are in need of a husband and are happy to live in Western Europe, I’m available!

    Submit CV with recent photo attached please and I’ll consider!

  13. perristalsis says:

    Hardly anyone has a smile, they look beat down, but not beaten. Great expressive shots.

  14. DouglasUrantia says:

    They seem so isolated from the world. They’re like people from another age. I would think that some of the young ones might want to leave that village if they could.

    • eXm3 says:

      not necessarily… I mean, yeah they live poor, but you don’t need much when you live on a country side. When I was a kid and a teenager I used to spend all of the summers in a village similar to that with my grandparents… And believe it or not, the best memories that I have are from those times… and now I live in United States.

  15. tobymarx says:

    Beautiful, beautiful portraits. Thank you Olya Ivanova, and thank you ER for posting them.

  16. silvertwinz says:

    you see spirit in their eyes. i feel proud that i come from good russian people. not so much spirit here. most look alert but rather dumbed down where i live. (sigh…shakes head)

  17. Macsen says:

    Beautiful photos. These people look like they could be in my village, except they are much poorer, financially speaking.

  18. RB says:

    These are the kind of places where Gods spirit can rest and where he can remember why he created this world and all of us.
    I would love to visit here,is it possible to email some one who lives there and to see more pictures of this place?
    yet another magical window is opened for us.

    • OLUT says:

      RB – It’s not an e-mail, but you can visit his live journal (it’s in the VIA OLYA-IVANOVA link under the photos) at olya-ivanova.livejournal.com. She may have some more pix there!

      (I’m guessing she’s a she because it’s ivanovA not ivanov.)

    • RB says:

      OK thanks,I did Google the photographer afterwords and found a lot of her works. You never know who sends in the pictures so i didn’t think of who took them.
      Do you think it would be possible that this village is connected to the internet? it would be fun to email some one there,and maybe even send some small gift from Canada.

      • Tani says:

        Are you crazy??)))
        Can you see the firewood? They don’t have even heating there.
        They are poor and do not have either mobile or computer there. If you wish you should come to these places by yourself.

  19. Matt (UK) says:

    Jesus, why are you people so obsessed with comparative wealth. Who cares how rich they are. Commenting on their dress or bank accounts says more about you than it does them.

    Great portraits, as Gene says – salt of the earth.

  20. George Semel says:

    Rich is a state of mind, Looks a lot like village Alaska to some extent. Out of the way place, I like out of the way places. How is the fishing and Hunting there?

  21. cockatrice says:

    Change the language to English and these could be shots of places I’ve been in the rural US. People get on with life without the 8 to 5, 80 hour corporate wage slave lifestyle, iPhone in pocket, iPod in ears, running like crazy to keep up on the underwater mortgage and maxed out credit cards.

    And as the comment about no one wearing shoes, it’s summer time, and dust, sweat and shoes begin to reek. Sandles allow your feet to stay dry and are easy to wash off. Observations by city dwellers need not apply, you’d be wearing them for the same reasons.

    • kbr says:

      good point, you take away the green and put sand in its place and you get Nevada. We do not have to go to Russia to meet such people. In the US there are in the back yard of the US.

  22. Otis R. Needleman says:

    Very nice set of pictures. I agree these folks are the salt of the earth. Believe all they want to do is live their lives in peace, and may God grant that wish.

  23. Dan says:

    Id hit it

  24. CZenda says:

    All the early-teenage girls look like Wednesday Addams 😀
    Living in middle of nowhere is not as romantic as the city dwellers may think.
    I am quite surprised they still use the obsolete ovens for heating. This inefficient monster disappeared from the farms by the turn of 19th/20th centuries where I live, replaced by ceramic or cast iron stoves.

  25. rat says:

    Beautiful photos.

    These villagers may be poor, but they look clean and healthy to me.

  26. Cliff says:

    Great photos!
    Reminds me of a small town in South East Australia with the vibe.

  27. Victor says:

    Beautiful photos, beautiful people. The poverty makes me sad but their dignity is inspiring. Poor people are so often portrayed as drunk, lazy and sub-human. The photographer deserves great praise for showing them as real people with feelings and relationships.

  28. mexican says:

    The girls are so nice, they should be so proud of his beautiness.

  29. mukmika says:

    It would be nice to see more smiles, but maybe these handsome people don’t have too much to smile about. The photographer is very talented.

  30. are you kidding says:

    Russian hillbillys

  31. TT says:

    The older women look so kind and welcoming. I bet theyd put on a massive dinner if guests came to their village. Russian people are very generous like that

  32. Astrajingga says:

    The grandmother in picture no.23, she reminds me of the elder in Sundanese villages.

  33. kbr says:

    I have an question what is worse: to waste a life in this village or be a slave (worker or sex) in the city? Because as far I can see, there are the two options the young people have in those kind of villages. I hope that I am wrong, but I guess that reality is not far away.

  34. Wraith says:

    Amazing photos! As other posters have said, you can see the pride of the people in the photos. Life is harsh but they have tried to look their best for the photos.

    You can see the 20th/21st century creeping into the villages with some of the clothes, the magazine pictures used as wallpaper, and the stereo in what looks like a village hall.

    I have wondered about the people who live in the villages, wondering what services are available (electricity, phone, etc) and where the people would buy food, fuel, tools, etc, and what is actually available in the stores.

    • great photos says:

      Harsh life? I’ve seen worse in american inner city ghettos.

      Water – Lakes. Rivers. Streams. Dig a well.
      Food – They grow their own. Where do you think supermarkets get their stock.
      Fuel – Don’t need much if you live in a village. No traveling large distances from home to work.
      Power – Solar electricity with battery. They don’t have it.

  35. Kyle says:

    In spite of every thing, they still have their faith.

    Beautiful pictures, very original.

  36. Kyle says:

    Oh and that little girl in the first picture is too cute 🙂

  37. Bobble Hat says:

    Beautiful set of photos. It must be hard living in such a village. But in other ways easier than the city life. Everyone desires a different balance of simplicity and complexity. This kind of photoset is why I return regularly to ER. Such a fascinating website. I enjoy it so much. Thanks!

  38. Silvia says:

    These photos are so honest and give an incredible sense of reality, when I loom at the tiny rooms crowded with old furniture it reminds me of my grandma’s house in the country – I still keep it like that, old-fashioned, but authentic and it gives me a great sense of belonging. Wonderful work!

  39. Andrasone-HUN says:

    Beautiful. Who do not destroy, the city, the globalization, the trends,the money hunger, drugs… the real people

  40. Guahos says:

    I was born in Vologda Region, not far away from this place and my childhood was gone in similar places with similar people, so I can say that many of young dwellers after graduating from school will leave this place for nearest city to attend a university. So their lives are not so hopeless as these pictures describe them. But photos are really great, very impressive, like them.

  41. RUSSIAN says:

    Believe me, in Russia it might not be a village, a big city. I live in Tomsk, the capital of the region, and I also had to use the stove with firewood, draw water from the well and grow food in the garden. But I have a computer, Internet and even Iphone (really Chinese). If you want I can send you these photos, please write to my mail [email protected]

  42. Martinez says:

    Beautiful strong people.
    I would love to travel through this region. I grew up on an American Indian Reservation. Ive been to Somalia and Haiti, and the poverty was much worse than these pictures. These people are rich in spirit. The young people may not feel this way now but they will remember the simpler times as adults.

  43. Peter says:

    Very good photo-report.

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