The photograph I have chosen is of a village in Russia by the name of Kolchedan . One might wonder the significance of such a picture to someone so important as the ruler of a country. The Reasoning behind this photo, as far as I have learned, is to give an example of the average town prior to the Industrialization that had taken place shortly before this was taken. Kolchedan was the location of a stone quarry, and a place physically and socially centered around the church. It may not have been intentional by the photographer, Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii, but the way this photo is shot displays what was the basic Russian social system of the era past. The house in the center-left of the shot seems to belong to a family of some wealth as you can see by it having a metal roof, and being somewhat expansive in size. This house could almost be used to represent the nobles that used to be front and center in the Russian system, while the houses presumably belonging to the the people of the working class hanging in the background seem to be of much lower quality. This picture is finished out by the church looming in the midground, hanging over the working class, showing the establishment that connects these two social groups together.
This picture is The Village of Kolchedan (1912)
and can be found by record at: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/empire/architecture.html
2 thoughts on “The Village of Kolchedan”
I wrote on this picture too however I wrote on the fact that the photo was taken in 1912 and yet this village looks as if it belongs in the beginning of the 19th century instead of the 20th. I found it just as odd that towns like this even cared what was happening in the West due to its isolation at the time, being that it was located in the Ural mountains and the railroads had not reached them yet. This just shows that the industrialization process within Russia was not organized or efficient in anyway, which I believe is a factor in the Russian elite losing their grip on the peasant classes which ultimately led to the 1917 revolution. If they could have modernized as the west did I believe they could have prevented the revolution because they would have been able to respond much quicker than they actually were able to.
I find this to be very interesting due to the fact that it portrays the average town in Russia in the early 1900’s. As you said, it does seem questionable as to why this picture would be significant to such an important person but your explanation as to why it is could not be more accurate. This is a perfect depiction of what most of towns at the time were like, with the clear difference between the rich and the poor, yet still connected by the shared interest in the church.