It is hard to believe now
that the Rail Road, that great creation of humanity only dates back
to the recent nineteenth century. It seems to have been here
forever since the beginning of times — so deeply has
it merged with the Earth and so fundamentally changed its look.
Built by a man from the rail,
spike, tie, switch and wage wheel all the way to modern complex
software — the railway resembles life itself, with its constant motion,
evolution, and circulation of elements.
It began in August 2017. Since then,
my team and I have been to almost every part of Russia-
tens of thousands of miles flown, ridden, driven, floated and sailed;
thousands of images and terabytes of video and audio recordings;
hundreds of people and dozens of cities visited, small and large
stations and stops, an endless expanse of rail…
Railroads are like rivers or arteries,
pumping life, jobs, fuel, and machines- everything we can no longer
imagine a city without. However, small towns where people are still
waiting to hear the clink of wheels and the signal of an approaching
train for the first time still exist.
These two parallel lines will dwell
in my dreams for times to come. They will take me back
to the harsh environment of the Northern Urals, the head-spinning
Caucasus, the salty steppes of Baskunchak and Astrakhan, to Krasnoyarsk
and Irkutsk, the Circum-Baikal Railway, to the Baikal- Amur Mainline and
the Trans-Siberian Railroad.
Our project is about the beauty and
power of railroads and the strong spirits of those dedicated
to them. It is about people who live and work day and night,
in the sweltering heat and in deep frosts, never stopping for
a moment, while we pass by their figures in orange jackets
in our peaceful slumber. They lay down tracks, build bridges, drill
tunnels, repair and maintain trains and engines, create new machinery and