Soviet Bus Stops

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Soviet Bus Stops - 540In a country where central planning tried to run everything and Socialist Realism aimed for the grand, the majestic, the over-decorated, somehow bus stops escaped the net. Christopher Herwig spent more than a decade and travelled over 30,000 km around the countries of the old Soviet Empire tracking down these often exuberant little architectural fantasies for his book Soviet Bus Stops.

Soviet Bus Stop - Gagra, Abkhazia 540▲ In Gagra in Abkhazia, a breakaway sliver from Georgia, a shell-like mosaic masterpiece looks like it has emerged from some tropical sea.

Soviet Bus Stop - Niitsiku, Estonia - 540▲ In Niitsiku, Estonia it looks like a space spider has come in to land beside a deserted road.

Soviet Bus Stop - Aral, Kazakhstan - 540▲ Out in the desert in Aral, Kazakhstan this bus stop looks like some lost miniature mosque.

And yet overall the effect is remarkably like Martin Parr’s Boring Postcards book. Every bus stop stands up dead centre in the photographs, people rarely appear, the presentation is flat, the colours almost always washed out and muted. Many of the bus stops look like they’ve been quietly crumbling away ever since the USSR crashed.