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Belarus: A Fleeting Glimpse

Belarus is a transitional country in the heart of Europe that still is partly adopting the methods of "real socialism", the so-called "last dictatorship in Europe". There is a love-hate relationship between Belarus and mother Russia that heats up at times as the country holds a special geopolitical position, an energy road between Russia and the West, while the country struggles to be renounced as a western misfit and find its position within contemporary European community. Belarus is a rather isolated, flat-terrained but otherwise stranger-friendly place, the awkward relic of an eastern era long in decay.

Dignity is a virtue Belarusans certainly have on an individual level, which makes a strong contrast with their collective passivity towards politics and the public sphere. The outlook for "socialism" or "state capitalism" as some would argue. Whatever the case may be, by general confession most Belarusans are satisfied living in countless clusters of apartment blocks, so-called "sleeping areas" with very little or absent infrastructure, separated by five-lane streets which by now should have run out of their traffic capacity. Instead, only a few cars and private minibuses serving as public transports move spaciously in the empty lanes.

This visual documentary serves as an effort to comprehend in what terms this country is different from our western standards, how this system is affecting the people and what the impact of socialistic planning is on the urban scenery.

More pictures available upon request.