Russian villages: archaeology of disappearing  

In collaboration with Elizaveta Dremova.

The project created photographs documenting the re-creation of familiar practices of rural life. The photographs were taken in abandoned villages. 

According to the information by the Center of Economics and Political Reforms total number of Russian rural settlements exceeds 150 000. But all-russian population census in 2010 educed that 12,7% villages were not populated. It means that practically 19,5 thousands of Russian villages existed only on a map but they were abandoned in fact. However, the process of disappearing began a long time ago. N. Khrushchev initiated a policy of kolkhoz integration in 1950s. It required the centralization of small villages. As a result, people left villages which were declared unpromising. Thousands of villages were foredoomed in unavoidable disappearing. At that moment, former large settlements repeated the same fate. The soil devours most of the material traces, but leaves signs on which they can be discovered. At present, the abandoned areas have become natural again. We humanize these places, recreating some of the remaining practices of life in the recent past. The other goal is documentation of traces of these abandoned villages. The disappearing of villages gives evidences to the process of erasing the image of the peasantry, which is a part of Russia’s identity. The third goal is to appeal to the Russian village and its practitioners as an unobvious foundation of our culture. Our main goal is to study the phenomenon of disappearance, erasure and oblivion of those elements of culture that show the transformation of identity at the national and social levels.

2017-2019

Археология исчезновения русской деревни. Julia Altukhova, multimedia artist
Археология исчезновения русской деревни. Julia Altukhova, multimedia artist
Археология исчезновения русской деревни. Julia Altukhova, multimedia artist
Археология исчезновения русской деревни. Julia Altukhova, multimedia artist
Археология исчезновения русской деревни. Julia Altukhova, multimedia artist
Археология исчезновения русской деревни. Julia Altukhova, multimedia artist
Археология исчезновения русской деревни. Julia Altukhova, multimedia artist
Археология исчезновения русской деревни. Julia Altukhova, multimedia artist
Археология исчезновения русской деревни. Julia Altukhova, multimedia artist

Exhibition

“Loss of commonality” (2021)