In the West, we have very limited knowledge of many countries that were part of the former Soviet Union. Somehow, despite these countries becoming independant, the media didn’t show much interest on these countries, apart from the occasional political issues.
The lack of knowledge on Belarus is what made this project so interesting to me. Pointing out a cultural specificity of a country tends to reveal something about it. In this case, what the photographer wanted to reveal was, in her own words: “In Belarus, my home country, people love when everything looks neat, clean and beautiful. I decided to search for origins of this fact.”.
Alexandra Soldatova decided to show the love of Belarus people for neat things by taking photos of bus stops in the countryside. What’s so special about these bus stops? As you can see on the photos in this article, they are handpainted with flowers and landscapes. Each painting is made by a local artist, mostly in the eightees.
The paintings photographed by Soldatova are often quite kitschy, but I’d rather have these instead of agressive ads at bus stops in my country. Unfortunatly, these are slowly disappearing, which makes the photographer’s project even more interesting.
You can see more of these photos on this page.