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A Scenery with Lenin

Posted November. 24, 2007 03:03,   


There may be no point now in talking about the 90th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, and remembering Vladimir Lenin, the hero of the revolution.

But the author of this book, “A Scenery with Lenin,” was set on searching for Lenin. More precisely speaking, he went to Russia to see Lenin statues in person, which are still standing in the midst of capitalistic waves.

Photo journalist Lee Sang-yeop took photographs of Lenin statues on a 10,000- kilometer journey from St. Petersburg on the western edge of Russia to Sakhalin on the eastern edge. During the journey, he also visited Moscow and Yekaterinburg, and crossed the Ural Mountains to go to Novosibirsk in West Siberia and Irkutsk.

The book contains not only the photos of Lenin statues but also people’s way of life and changes in cities that contain statues. In addition, the author tells stories regarding Lenin while reflecting on the era of the revolution.

It is interesting that Lenin statues remain unscathed while those of Stalin have almost all disappeared. Standing in a ragged coat in front of Finland Station in St. Petersburg, a bald and short Lenin statue is lifting his hand as if he is giving directions. One can clearly see the advertisement of Sanyo, a Japanese electronics company, in the background of a Lenin statue in Moscow. In addition to these, the author shows us various carved statues and their background scenery. In Irkutsk, Lenin is standing as if he is dancing while holding the wind blowing from the Baikal Lake, and in the capital city of Ulan-Ude in Buryatia, it is only Lenin’s head that stands at Soviet Plaza.

Though they look deserted, they still exude something gallant, making the pictures of them look more attractive. An unexpected encounter with Lenin’s statues will lead readers to reflect on past history.