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Robert L. Peters

2 February 2009

Leningrad’s haunting past…

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St. Petersburg, Russia

All too often we forget the hardship experienced by generations past, especially during certain wars, yet some people have a profound way of reflecting on times gone by, presenting their take on the world in a new light. These haunting, hybrid images of past and present St. Petersburg—formerly known as Leningrad—are the works of Sergei Larenkov. After studying old images of the city, Larenkov visited the same spots, capturing them on film. He then digitally superimposed the old image over new, producing these eerie and thought-provoking shots.

Like ghosts captured forever on film the scenes depict all too clearly a harshness that can result only from times of war. The 900-day Siege of Leningrad, also known as The Leningrad Blockade, lasted from 9 September 1941 to 27 January 1944—just over 65 years ago—and was one of the longest and most destructive sieges of major cities in modern history, and second most costly…

“During nine hundred(!) days a few million people in the city of Leningrad suffered from cold and hunger, being deprived of almost all supplies of food and fuel. Many thousands died; those who survived remember this not very willingly. The situation with food was so heavy, no food was sold/distributed among people except a few grams (not even tens or hundred grams) of bread, and not each day, that people had to eat stuff that they would never eat in normal life, like making soups of leather boots (because leather is of animal origin) or boiling the wallpaper because the glue with which they were attached to walls contained a bit of organic stuff. Of course many occasions of cannibalism occurred.”

See more images at English Russia, here. Thanks Adrian for the link.

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