My obsession with the Moscow metro does not seem to decrease with time – and I must say that it does not come as a surprise to me, since my life here is centred on the metro – the times when it opens and closes, the location of the stations, the intervals with which the trains depart. Moscow metro is an institution in itself, the most important means of transport, a major meeting point, a witness of history, a tourist attraction.
When the metro is written or talked about, the focus is placed on the central stations – staple examples of Stalinist baroque and carriers of last epoch’s propaganda, huge interchange hubs, filling up with crowds of people in the rush hours. The outlying, pragmatic stations come completely unnoticed – built much, much later, they sole function has always been to provide the districts of impersonal, gigantic blocks of flats with the essential connection with the world, not to emphasise the power of the empire. This is also where the mundane, everyday, ant-like life of the metropolis is staged, and just as the real Russia begins beyond the MKAD – real Moscow begins beyond the circle line.
Central stations of the Moscow metro appear in thousands of guidebooks, novels and photo projects (this being my favourite one so far) – no one, however, talks nor writes about the peripheral stations, forgotten by everyone but their daily users. This is why I’m introducing my new photo project here on Samovar – Last Metro Stations, where I’ll show you the daily life of the last stations of different lines. Today were at the north-east edge of the dark blue line:
This station opens the project for a reason – this is where I used to live when I first came to Moscow (and to Russia as a whole), right after the first year of university, this is also where Anastasia Kamenskaya, the main character of a very popular detective stories by Alexandra Marinina, lives (I know, guilty pleasures). For many people this station is not the end of a long journey home – here they change to a coach taking them to the suburbs.