How Soviet Space Dreams Became A Photographer’s Inspiration

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The rocket and space program of the USSR, along with the exploration of the universe left its mark on the country. Obviously, it reflected on the people’s minds as well. Every other little boy wanted to be an astronaut. One of them was the photographer Ivan Mikhailov. As a child, he often stared at the stars, and thought of planets and space adventures, while sitting atop of a rocket-shaped slide near his house. Presently, his series of photographs titled ‘Playground’, includes images of rocket ship style playgrounds built in Russia during the Space Race.

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“My city is like a huge ‘cosmodrome’, where nearly 40 rockets are stored at many children playgrounds. Most of them are as old as the Soviet Union. There were times when they were the symbols of human achievement and of space exploration wishes. At that time, the first Earth satellite was launched, the first man was sent into space, people dreamed of building cities on the surface of the Moon, Mars… Time passed by and space is still just a dream of the humankind. The rockets at children playgrounds have become the heaps of rusting ruins. By day, kids still play nearby, by night there are drug addicts and alcoholics.”

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