A History of Russia in a Massive Photo Archive

Discussion in 'Photographic Aesthetics and Composition' started by Mainecoonmaniac, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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  2. StephenT

    StephenT Member

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    Wow! What a collection. Thanks for the link.
     
  3. HiHoSilver

    HiHoSilver Subscriber

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    Terrific, MCM. Thank You.
     
  4. gr82bart

    gr82bart Member

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    Great link!
     
  5. AgX

    AgX Member

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    To make that site's browsing work for a limited historic time span, one has to actuate both sliders.
     
  6. AgX

    AgX Member

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  7. jtk

    jtk Subscriber

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    Faux history. Doesn't even hint at Russia's (i.e. Soviet Union even today) mass slaughters of its own people or what the same nation is doing in Syria.

    Demonstrates how useless photos usually are to historic understanding, beyond amusing costumes and beards.

    For reader-types I suggest Martin Malia's "The Soviet Tragedy" (Macmillan)...which documents how intentional Russia's atrocities have been since 19th century. For atrocity fans there are newly published, highly documented books about intentional genocide of American Indians in California. .
     
  8. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Be aware that there are many truths. That makes history.

    And the title of this thread thus is "a history".
     
  9. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    So true. My wife's family is Mennonite and her ancestors fled Russia on the heels of many of them being killed, raped and worse. Russia is not unique in this behaviour however, we must keep that in mind.
     
  10. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Hmm. Russia's still the bogeyman, I see.
     
  11. AgX

    AgX Member

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    With "many thruths" I meant that a reaction as "faux history" is like coming across an alien family album, glancing through it and stating it as faux as there are no photos of family members slapping each other. But still that album is true. True history.
     
  12. jtk

    jtk Subscriber

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    I own photographic prints of the Tsar's murdered family, most painfully of his son at what may be the train that carried that child to death. Where are the Jews that Russia conveniently slaughtered? Where are the kulacks that the Bolshevik party sent to near certain death in Siberia after first making use of them. Where are the serfs that the bolsheviks openly committed to eliminate as a class? Where is Trotsky? Where is Lysenko (and do you even know who he was?) Where is Asad of Syria, Putin's golden tool (or is it the other way around) ? Those absences are direct statements that deny the very existence of millions. Faux history. That radical propaganda photo editing is intentionally deceitful, far from "history".

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
  13. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Seemingly we looked at different albums. The one I looked at is seemingly open for everyone to upload. And I have no doubt that there is some editing. The same as with non-russian counterparts.
    What I saw was a mass of photographs obviously both from private and commercial photographers.
    I shall glance through it again in the future to see what has been added and enjoy it.
     
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  15. jtk

    jtk Subscriber

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    I'd be less critical of those sites if they didn't pretend to be "history." Impossible to believe the absences are accidental. They have carefully avoided most of Russia's historic reality. That's sad, but not surprising given the general ignorance of Russia's real history (including my own ignorance, up until recently).

    Countries do work to purge their alleged histories and they count on poor education to perpetuate that.
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    great stuff ----
    it is too bad there was no russian constructavist imagery ..
    i was hoping for some home spun russian avante-guarde imagery in the 20s
    i did see some solarized portraits .. so not all was lost to formalism
    exactly ! ...
    not every photo album/ photographer has fulfill photojournalistic documentation projects of autrocities
    and the fact that they don't show those atrocities doesn't mean they didn't happen.
    usually family photos albums, even in bad times try to show normalcy and positive energy instead
    of the hangings in the town square or the mass grave behind the school.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
  17. jtk

    jtk Subscriber

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    Happy snaps aren't "a history". Weird to think "history" of a Nation without it's defining monstrosity. Serves convenient purpose.
     
  18. AgX

    AgX Member

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    It depends how one defines history. Based on your definition I likely resort to alternative facts.

    By the way, is there a US photo site, that fulfills your definition?
     
  19. jawarden

    jawarden Subscriber

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    Wow, great site, thanks for the link. I see it was from 2016, and I don't know how I missed it.
     
  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    the idea that in times of great tragedy people can't have photography ( or make art/music &c )
    ( family photographs or otherwise ) that displays some sort of normalcy
    is absurd. its like suggesting people can't marry or fall in love in times of war
    and that every form of artwork ( painting, music, photography, architecture or sculpture ) in an archive during any time
    of horrible human suffering has to depict only tragedy and suffering, otherwise it is untrue, fake &c.
    if people only drilled down on the negative during these hard times that would be absurd and the real tragedy.
     
  21. Nodda Duma

    Nodda Duma Subscriber

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    US history with all its warts as well as its shining moments is well-documented and readily available. The slavery period, the Indian Wars, the struggle for equality... but also ever-increasing standards of living, the massive and long-running humanitarian aid provided to the world, the technological achievements, etc. The photographic documentation of American history is so enormous that there is not just “one site” to contain it all. However, the Library of Congress would come closest to what you’d be looking for... free and available to the public without censure.

    Such is the difference between a free and open society, and a closed society.
     
  22. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Jtk is blaming ONE russian photo site of sent in photos not to represent THE history of Russia.
    You, when referring to the USA, argue that there is no means to contain all at one site. Thus you are comparing apples to peas when then arguing over a society being closed and the other open.



    (To be fair, I myself would have at that russian side not chosen the term The History, though that may be a translating error.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
  23. Nodda Duma

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    I’m actually not arguing. I merely answered your question.

    However, since you admit no difference between Russia and the US, let me rebut with a question of my own: Does the Russian government have an analog to the Library of Congress, freely available and accessible to the public, revealing all the warts as well as the shining moments from Russian history? If they do then it’s a newly established library. The Soviet Union certainly did not have a government-funded, publicly accessible repository for documentation of gulags, Stalin’s purges, etc. although it had no problem extolling the virtues of Soviet Communism.

    As I remarked, it’s a difference between a free society and a closed society. And in any case, the archive of photographs at the link is amazing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
  24. AgX

    AgX Member

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    I do not know how how you were raised. For my generation growing up in the 60s 70s in West Germany most things soviet, or even behind the iron curtain in general, was taboo.
    The image of these countries was rather depicted by James Bonsd style media products.

    I greatly appreciate the chance we now got, especially through the internet, to have a glimpse at the past that shows things either unknown or contrary to the little we were told back then.
     
  25. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Concerning your reference the Library of Congress, I can look up my Stasi dossier. But where to look up my dossier at US intelligence services?? And I am even talking only of things of the past.

    And would have Colin Powell known that all thruth is secured at the Library of Congress he likely would have looked things up there before...

    But I am getting polemic now.

    Thus again my question.
    If there is a photo site of sent in photos that complies to jtks standards I would like to know.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
  26. Rudolf Karachun

    Rudolf Karachun Subscriber

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    In Soviet Union all libraries, museums, factories, ets. used to belong to people. In fact it was controlled by government, because the government theoretically was "chosen by the People" :smile:. And it was and it there now great libraries and museums with a lot of materials in archival storage. Some of materials was closed to the public during the soviet time, but now more and more of them open. And about the library. The Moscow "V. I. Lenin Library" exact analog to the library of Congress. They have a lot of historical documents. Previously most of them was open to the professionals, mean historians, scientists, writers. It was not open to any person from the street, because of the archival requirements, but now when the process of duplication became so simple it will be more and more accessible. Of course there are some secret materials in the archival storage of previous KGB and Soviet army archive, but as I understand they removing the secretcy label from many of them now and probably in some closed future those materials will be open to the public too.
     
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