A Miners Village

 This is a photo session from a miner’s village in Russia. These photos are made nowadays though when watching them it might seem that they are made in the previous century.

A few days ago in Russian newspapers there was an article that 25% of Russian families sometimes experience lack of the money to buy simple bread, and I suppose that more than 40% of families live in the similar conditions, especially in countryside, and the same time in major cities there is a class of very rich people, buying Ferraris and soccer players for their teams worth of tens millions dollars.

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photographed by Alexander Schekmenev

25 thoughts on “A Miners Village”

  1. absolutely great pictures. Especially the one with the accordeon is brilliant!
    Are they disarming bombs on those last 3 photos??? Unprotected like that?? That’s crazy! 😀

  2. Beautiful. Beautiful and stark.

    Some of these photos (the wedding party, the accordianist, the old woman) are the most quintisentially Russian photos I have ever seen.

    Russia: beautiful and stark.

  3. I’ve read author’s comments on his site. These are marginal people that take coal from old mines, where industrial production is stopped. They sell the coal to local people to earn some money. Real miners don’t live like that.

  4. No, not really. Eatch big country maybe, but the smaller countries can take better care of their poor people. I cant see places like these in Scandinavia. BTW I love these pictures!

  5. Thrust you foto in you ass american! Is better show american fat policemens from MC – Donals. Which hardly move the legs! Before to photograph the another’s country, show all over again the rotten country, the photographer! >:( Hello from Russia!

  6. Jack wrote:

    > It´s Funny how Sensitive Russians are about
    > their Country.

    Duh… Guess how sensitive Americans get when you point them at their braindead president and his suicidal foreign policy.

  7. Poor people look terrible anywhere in the world. You should see how scary are the sick and homeless in Vancouver’s Downtown – East side area. Prostitues, drug addicts, homeless, people sick of AIDS, and you will rarely see on TV documentaries about those poor souls. That part of beautiful Vancouver, Canada, you will never see on posts cards, or tourist guides. Because it looks like a SF/horror movie from the 80’s. Maybe Scandinavian countries don’t have homeless because they all died already in the cold weather?

  8. Claudia is right! Poor has no nationality! Pictures are good as an art. But they show a horrible reality! Dosnt look like everyday Russia to me anyway! Looks like very poor and hard drinking people are collecting metal or coal (as somebody said). I think it would be much better to post pic with exact dates here and tell us the true story about an event! Its confusing…

  9. Many Russian people definitely have a heightened sense of their “dignity” and so they are offended by some things like this. I don’t see in ridicule in recognizing the Slavic ability to endure hardships and still remain happy in their lives. As just pure art, these images are beautiful and enduring. As has been shown, even the most terrible images can be made in an artistically meaningful way.

    Scandanavian countries are relatively affluent and have shown an ability to provide for those less fortunate. In the US, the unfortunate prevailing attitude is – God helps those who help themselves – and the government provides minimal money and services for social welfare. Money for good public education is also being seriously eroded as more and more government money is being spent on the US Military, so that we might impose our will – errr – protect other countries from bad guys. Russia’s own large budget surpluses has yet to show much benefit for the less fortunate, and it appears the governments attitude is largely “trickle-down economics” of a style which would make Ronald Reagan very proud.

    The US has small miners that work these thin veins of coal on privately owned mines. It is a high-risk career and unlikely to reap large rewards, but these individuals would prefer to work for themselves than to have material success.

  10. of course there are poor people everywhere. You just have to love these guys in the pictures for their devotion. They wake up every day and go to work in the same precarious conditions so that they have something to sustain themselves and their families. All this even though they might probably leave that village and try to make a better life.

  11. Here in the USA and in particular the coal fields of Northeastern Pennsylvania there are villages such as shown. Yes it was in the 30’s and 40’s but to this day men and women mine coal from “bootleg” mines such as this.

    I can remember my uncles who were slav’s from Slovakia coming home black and cut and to the day they died had scars that looked like tattos. we had welsh, Russians, Ukrainians as well as Polish and Lithuanians all working in the mines.

    I can still see them on a Sunday at the church picnics playing their guitars, harmonicas and accordions as they sang songs from their homelands far far away. What you show here is the salt of the earth and a people who earn their living the hard way.

  12. I know these photos, they’re over 15 years old. God I hate this website, always trying to make Russians look bad 🙁

  13. Viktor, whats to be ashamed of (to be honest, I’m ashamed of those who are ashamed of people shown here)? Great pictures, and while those people live in terrible conditions, photos show they didn’t lost a single bit of their dignity.

    P.S. Photos of children of corrupt officials driving in their supercars to Moscow nightclubs is what makes me ashame.

  14. It’s old frames of Russian being. Now the level of life is growing on and on. There are photos from USSR, where least of people had a higher education. This life was absolutelly normal for a simple russian proletarian. In fact, that was a really higher level of industry than we’ve now. Everybody lived so and it was not shamefully

  15. You you should edit the blog subject title English Russia » A Miners Village to something more specific for your content you create. I liked the the writing nevertheless.

  16. Very good photo report, but ruined by black-and-white photography. Color photography better conveys the bleakness and grayness of life.


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