End of Soviet Power, Bukhara 1995.

End of Soviet Power, Bukhara 1995.

The 16th century Miri-i-Arab Madrasah defaced before its extensive renovation. It closed in 1924 and it was used as the city’s children’s library. The Madrasah re-opened in 1946 as part of Stalin’s post-war concessions to the region.

The Miri-i-Arab Madrasah was the only Islamic spiritual educational establishment in the Soviet Union.

The Miri-i-Arab Madrasa was the only Islamic spiritual educational establishment in the Soviet Union

The Austrian writer and soldier Gustav Krist was captured on the Eastern Front in WWI and ended up in Soviet Turkestan. Later on he returned to the area and in his 1937 book 'Alone Through the Forbidden Land' he recounted his visit to Bukhara - the ancient city known as Bukhara the Holy:

…The Russians were reluctant to rob it completely of an impressive epithet and is now entitled Bukhara the Noble. You may here see the Red Star or the portraits of Lenin in queer juxtaposition with the ancient text books of Sharia Law and commentaries on the Quran. The Madrasah Mir Arab is a typical example. The narrow cell of the Imam has shelves along the walls, laden with sacred books in Arabic and Kufic script, above which hangs a poster in Uzbeg which screams: 'Proletarians of all Lands Unite!'

End of Soviet Power, Bukhara 1995.

End of Soviet Power, Bukhara 1995.

Photography © Velislav Radev

Published in Red Square

 

The story of Maestro Alipi Naidenov - conductor, musician, teacher and mentor to hundreds of young Bulgarians, who crossed the Iron Curtain to follow their passion for music in Italy.

Alipi chaired the Conductor Courses at the Sienna Music Academy for over three decades.

Now in his 80s, he recalls a life lived in the shadow of a Communist dictatorship with its ever present 'secret' agents, yet always absorbed by the beauty of music, and his love for Italy.

Published in Bulgaria

The story of Alipi Naidenov - conductor, musician, teacher and mentor to hundreds of young Bulgarians, who crossed the Iron Curtain to follow their passion for music in Italy.

Alipi chaired for decades the Conductor Courses at the Siena Music Academy. Now in his 80s, he recalls a life lived in the shadow of a Communist dictatorship with its ever-present 'secret' agents.

Coming up soon on MyCentury

Published in Bulgaria

18th May 2014 marked the 70th anniversary of the deportation of the entire nation of the Crimean Tatars. On this day in 1944, on Stalin's orders, they were forced to leave their homes by the Black Sea and were dumped onto the steppes of Central Asia and other places far from home. 

As the USSR was collapsing, the Tatars started returning to Crimea, longing for their ancestral land. The authorities did not allow them to settle down properly and the Tatars set up camps across the peninsula. The Ukrainian photographer Oleksandr Klymenko had the rare opportunity to capture their first steps back home.

001 Tatars 1989
002 Tatars 1989
003 Tatars 1987
004 Tatars 1987
005 Tatars 1987
006 Tatars 1987
007 Tatars 1987
008 Tatars 1987
009 Tatars 1989
010 Tatars 1989
011 Tatars 1989
012 Tatars 1989
013 Tatars 1989
014 Tatars 1989
015 Tatars 1989
016 Tatars 1989
017 Tatars 1989
018 Tatars 1989
019 Tatars 1989
020 Tatars 1992
021 Tatars 1992
022 Tatars 1992
023 Tatars 1992
024 Tatars 1992
025 Tatars 1992
026 Tatars 1992
027 Tatars 1992
028 Tatars 1992
029 Tatars 1993
030 Tatars 1992
031 Tatars 1993
032 Tatars 1993
033 Tatars 1993
034 Tatars 1994
035 Tatars 1989
036 Tatars 1992
037 Tatars 1989
038 Tatars 1989
039 Tatars 2004
040 Tatars 2004

Photography: © Oleksandr Klymenko

A piece of visual history - the first photo album of the Bulgarian capital after the Communist takeover in 1944.

Most of the over 100 photographs were taken by Architect Nikolay Popov and Pencho Balkanski, both established internationally in the 1930, with exhibitions in Vienna and Belgrade.

Sofia 1959
Sofia 1959
Sofia 1959
Sofia 1959
Sofia 1959

(more to come)

Published in Photo Gallery Bulgaria

Сталинское выселение народов: воспоминания очевидцев

70 лет назад - 23 февраля 1944 года в 02:00 по местному времени - на Северном Кавказе началась операция 'Чечевица' по депортации чеченцев и ингушей. Всего в 1944-м году было выселено на восток около 873 тысяч человек, а к октябрю 1948 года - 2 млн 247 тысяч. В ходе депортации и после нее погибли тысячи людей.

Российский журналист и фотограф Дмитрий Беляков в течение двух лет встречался на Северном Кавказе с участниками тех событий. Результатом этих встреч стал специальный проект -  серия фотопортретов, а также свидетельства очевидцев и жертв переселения. Би-би-си публикует фрагменты этих рассказов.

Published in Red Square

This is how Chechen schoolchildren imagine the deportation of their entire nation 70 years ago.

On 23 February 1944 Soviet security forces moved into the area, and loaded hundreds of thousands of Chechen and Ingush people onto lorries, and then cattle trucks. They were moved from their homes to Central Asia and Siberia. About 700,000 people were affected across the North Caucasus, and nearly half of the deportees that freezing winter were children.

 

It's estimated that 170,000 to 200,000 of the Chechens alone lost their lives. That's over a third of the total Chechen population. The Chechen and Ingush who survived only started returning to their homeland after the death of Stalin in 1953.

To this day the foreign trucks used in the deportation are deeply ingrained in the collective memory – and they're shown in the drawings here. The Chechens were rounded up and loaded onto Studebakers, which were produced and supplied by the US. They were then packed into the freight carriages of trains.

 

 

 

 

 

Published in Red Square

Nomenklatura

 

Todor Zhivkov, Bulgaria's undisputed leader for 35 years, playing host to the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev in a hunting lodge in Bulgaria. Early 1970s.

It is a unique photo - events like this were never reported, and usually no records were kept. The service personnel were sworn to secrecy, hence the facial expressions of some in the background!

The top Communist nomenklatura were often keen hunters. Some argue this was an attempt to emulate the old ruling classes they toppled, and in many cases managed to abolish, or 'liquidate' in their own terms.

Personal archive

Published in Bulgaria

Chakarov_Zhivkov_Kremlin

In the Kremlin, 1980s

Kostadin Chakarov (on the right of this image) was an advisor and personal assistant to Todor Zhivkov, who ruled Bulgaria between 1954-1989. He remembers the rituals of that time and the legacy of the 9 September 1944, the day of the Communist takeover in Bulgaria.

What are your memories of the 9 September before 1989?

Споделете вашите спомени.

Published in YOUR STORY

Odessa Mama 002
Odessa Mama 003
Odessa Mama 004
Odessa Mama 005
Odessa Mama 006
Odessa Mama 007
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Odessa Mama 022
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© Velislav Radev