This book is a photo album I issued in limited print as a present to my former classmates for our 25th high school reunion. All photographs in the book were made by a teenage me in 1985-1991.
At that time, I’d mainly take pictures both in class and during recessions. There are shots from political awareness lessons, from the school disco, from a Labor Day parade and an all-school camping trip. There are quite a few portraits, of schoolboys, and, exceedingly, of schoolgirls, who, as it turns out, loved the camera. There are images of the school yard, the drama club in action, and an odd PE class. In other words, the book is a snapshot of everyday life of a typical Soviet school in the end of the 1980s.
I didn’t plan the book to become a “thing”; again, it conceived as a present for my former classmates. It is nothing more than an album with photographs, not unlike your ordinary family album, whose audience is, by definition, limited. What I have discovered over the last few weeks, however, is that a lot of people would be curious about the album anyway, and would often ask me to let them take a look.
These would be people with no connection to my classmates or my school life whatsoever, but they were still very interested in browsing though the pictures of the days gone by. In them, those born and raised in the USSR find parallels with their own childhood, and those born and raised elsewhere discover what life was like behind the iron curtain. Thus, this blog post was born.
Who knows, maybe you, too, will share the curiosity and wish to browse the images of the past that I’m sharing with the world today.