Olga Kravets

Published on 15/01/15

© Olga Kravets

Driv­ing up to the Bar­ents sea­shore feels like head­ing to the middle of nowhere. Iron­ic­ally, in winter the drive is much smoother and twice faster — flattened snow com­pensates 40 km of unpaved road. When I was first head­ing there, I was expect­ing to find an aban­doned place under decay, with alco­hol­ics start­ing their days with cheap Rus­sian porto instead of espresso. What I found was nowhere near, mak­ing me fall in love with the place instantly. The houses might be indeed run down, but the people are true North­ern­ers — not to freeze one needs to stay sober. They are incread­ibly hos­pit­able — nobody would be left out­side on a cold day. They love their land, wor­ship it and write songs to it. When I fist came, the infam­ous house, des­troyed in the final scene of Leviathan was being built, and rumours were cir­cu­lat­ing about “some film­makers from Moscow”. When I came next time, I have already seen the film. The people of Teriberka of course didn’t due to Russia’s dis­tri­bu­tion restric­tions, and it was not that they really cared. But I warned them, that even though I found the film abso­lutely genius, it por­trayed a gen­eric Rus­sia rather than Teriberka proper. I warned them not to get upset or offen­ded. Even­tu­ally they did. Unlike in the film, things are going fine there. Gas­prom is prom­ising again to come back and bring jobs. Igor’s got new lights for his disco and the vil­lage club stands shiny after renov­a­tion. Valera has become a local MP and now has real power to put his “Save Teriberka ini­ti­at­ive into life”. North­ern spirit stays strong.  Text by Olga Kravets


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