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Everyday Russia


Monday, April 11, 2016


by Alexei Malgavko

Name: Alexei Malgavko

Age: 30

Profession: Photographer

City: Omsk Oblast

How long have you been doing photography? What style or genre most interests you? I have had photography as a hobby since I was a child, and since 2005 I have worked as a photo journalist. I have to do all sorts of photography, but I am most interested in shooting provincial Russia.

Can you give us a short description of your city? Where is it located? What is it famous for? Omsk oblast is located in Siberia, at the geographic center of Russia. Omsk is a huge city with a population of over a million, but all you ahve to do is drive 50 kilometers and the population density falls of rapidly. The main income source for the megalopolis is the oil processing plan. Since the taiga is nearby, the wood processing industry is also rather big here. Siberia is also known for its severe cold (to minus 40 degrees) and it summer mosquitoes.

What is something about your city that only locals would know? 200 years ago, the [now] world famous writer Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky was sent to Siberian exile in Omsk. Another of Omsk's "calling cards" is the city's hockey team, Avangard. In 2006 the legendary Yaromir Yagr even played for them. Omsk is also famous for its metro, which does not actaully exists. There are stations, even a metro bridge, but no metro cars travel there, because for 20 years now they have been unable to finish the system, though they promise to every year.

Which places or sites are a must for someone to see if they visit your city? The five lakes and village of Okunevo, the place where, according to legend, lies the "world's navel." Each year on the summer solstices (June 21), representatives of various religions come her to collect its energy. And less religious people come here simply to rest and luxuriate in virginal nature.

There is also Belovodye, a grandiose ice village that is built before New Year's directly in the center of Omsk.

  • Hockey

    The main sport in Omsk is ice hockey. The former governor of Omsk, region who held office for twenty years, was a devoted fan of Hockey Club Avangard Omsk Region. The team won the Russian Superleague in 2004. Many hockey players who were raised in Omsk play all over the world now. And youngsters play right in the streets, despite the frost.

    Alexei Malgavko

  • Taxi Driver

    This is my childhood friend Pasha. Now he is a father of two children. He worked as a carpenter for eight years but at last he got tired of wasting time with wood, so now he is employed as a driver in a firm. As well, in the evenings he serves as a taxi driver. By the way, many people in Tara use their cars to earn money by giving rides. Alexei Malgavko

  • Sunlight

    In Omsk there are many steam-heat and fabric pipes. The city is big and it needs proper heating. The most powerful ones belong to the Oil Plant. A long time ago, the son of famous Russian poet Lev Gumilyov took part in building this plant while serving his exile here. He was born in St. Petersburg. By coincidence, the bulk of the plant's taxes go to the Northern capital of Russia, because the Oil plant is a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft. Money flows away from Omsk while it suffers from the plant's pollution. That's why all the citizens think it's unfair.

    Alexei Malgavko

  • Water Run

    The second biggest city in Omsk region is Tara. It is situated about 300 km north of the regional center. It has just 25 thousand citizens. This is where I come from... I am in love with old wooden houses, the simplicity of local people and the remoteness of the noisy megalopolis. Though, all the creature comforts are also far away. For example, citizens of Tara still take water from a standpipe. Alexei Malgavko

  • Tractor

    Settlements close to the regional center are often deserted, as the youth leave them and old people live out their lives. Across the Irtysh, the taiga begins. The settlements here are more stable, because Omsk and its temptations is far away. Alexei Malgavko

  • Tree

    Alexei Malgavko

  • Ice Floes

    Alexei Malgavko

  • Tire Swing

    There are a lot of things for kids to do in winter. Icy roads serve as skating-rinks in most courtyards, severe frost extends vacations, and the snowdrifts are so big that you can jump from a garage roof into them (until their owners notice and kick you out). Alexei Malgavko

  • Students

    Omsk is a city of students. There are lots of educational institutions and young people around. Some of them are going into the army. In the photo you see assembly point of Omsk region. Alexei Malgavko

  • Kiss

    There is a lot of talk about crisis and inflation in Russia today, but still shopping malls are full of people. The most popular one in Omsk is Mega. On weekends all the roads in its direction are usually paralyzed with traffic jams. People head there not only for shopping but just to spend their free time. Some of them go on dates there, others stroll  around, dreaming about future purchases or come inside just to warm up.  Alexei Malgavko