Live on Uzkoy (2011)
Life on the Uzkoy AUJD – Alapaevsk narrow-gauge railway. This unusual train is one of the longest narrow-gauge railways in the world, both on the Road of Life in the besieged Leningrad and for the bringing to the village of food and other essentials. People appreciate ‘Uzkoy’, as they call it, because for them it’s a vital artery. In most localities the railway is the only link to the ‘mainland’. I was there twice in 2009 and 2011. Nothing in these two years has changed. There’s no work and it isn’t clear that there ever will be again. Nothing new is built and the old is gradually destroyed. People are angry at the journalists who tell stories about these issues (because the film L’amour Station almost killed us at the station Kalach). There’s not a lot of money in the area, but the people (some 30 to 100 residents in each of the eight villages) remain good-hearted, and will offer food and accommodation to visitors, if of course one can gain their trust. In the Soviet system of the 1930s the railway was a symbol of the Revolution, technological change and a bright future. By the beginning of the 21st century the future became the past. Time stopped. It remains just nostalgia.
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