When the new Soviet country was born, the people were promised a wonderful future under the socialism — just a few more years, the billboards boasted — and we’ll live in a glorious state. However the early days were more than gloomy: the rundown economy, disoriented society, the reek of fear and uncertainty — and that clearly can be seen through the photos of a prominent Soviet photographer Arkady Shaikhet.
This collection of photos starts off with nice, clearcut images of what the country was portrayed as by the media and propaganda — and progresses to a unsweetened world of the simple folk, vagrants, and peasants. Please let us know if there is a photo below that has touched your heart — we always value your feedback.
Arkady Shaikhet’s life story is one of the most remarkable ever. A fourth kid in a Jewish family from the South of Russia, with no school education or special skills, he was called in the army to serve in the WWI. However, the outbreak of typhoid saved him and so, being discharged at the age of 24, he moved to Moscow in search of great opportunities. And there they were: after getting a job at a local paper, Arkady tried his luck with a camera — only to realise that he got a special talent. It was all uphill ever since: publishing in the most influential newspapers, the honour of duty to photograph Lenin and Stalin, busy exhibitions and so on. He had the most remarkable shots of the Second World War events, which we hope to publish here in the future.