Winston Churchill once said that "Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." Experiencing Russia is like experiencing magical realism—to the observer, everything seems as real as real can be, and at the same time, something's a bit odd, out of place, or straight up bizarre. Russia holds so many contrasting, vivid lives in it that it's no wonder why actually seeing them is so mesmerizing. And as one famous Russian vodka commercial says, "Russia can't be understood with the mind."
Aleksandr Petrosyan, the invisible hero of today's story, is the chronicler of these colorful people. He lives in Sankt Peterburg (Peter, as the locals call it), Russia's second-biggest city, and has accumulated quite an impressive archive of the city's unique people and situations. The photographer likes to capture as many different people as possible in a single frame, creating something that could somewhat represent the diverse Russian experience.
Petrosyan got his first camera as a birthday gift when he was 12; he quit and came back a few times until he became a full-fledged professional in 2000. His biggest inspiration comes from the source of his pictures, Saint Petersburg itself, where he has lived his whole life and which he knows by heart. "This is my world," he says.
And he doesn't fret that his photos won't be understood that well outside the local context. "Perception depends on many different factors," he says. "But if the picture is taken with a certain energy, the viewer will feel it, regardless of geography and culture." And indeed, they're well understood and appreciated by thousands of people across the world.
This post is a perfect opportunity for you to dust off and refresh your "Meanwhile in Russia" folder. And if you like to keep your Russian memes fresh, or just want to experience more of Russia, make sure you follow this chronicler of the bizarrely amusing Russian reality. And if you missed the previous post on Bored Panda, don't worry, we've got you covered. And now, without further ado, let's delve into the enigmatic, bizarre, and completely real everyday life of Russian people.