Dis-Stance


Monumental Bus Stops

Timur Zhansultanov, Kazakhstan

  • “Timur
    Pavlodar region,
    Kazakhstan
    In 2011, I often traveled around in the northern and eastern regions of Kazakhstan. Soviet-time bus stops have always seemed to me as something extraordinary, which attracted my attention during tiresome trips in the vast Kazakh steppe. At some point, I started to notice that in some places they started to demolish them and replace them with some modern plain structures. Then I decided to photograph all the bus stops on my way. So, an idea for a small project was born.
  • “Timur
    The village of Uspenka,
    Kazakhstan
    Whereas now bus stops are made rather modest and minimalistic, in the Soviet Union’s time things were different. At that time, bus stops were not only the places where one could wait for the bus. Each bus stop was designed to convey a certain idea.
  • “Timur
    The village of Moyildy,
    Kazakhstan
    The ideas were absolutely different — whether the powerful Soviet propaganda or just manifestation of the ethnic patterns.
  • “Timur
    Akmolinsk region,
    Kazakhstan
    Often the pictures painted or mosaics emphasized certain details of the region. For example, the Akmolinsk region is an agrarian and industrial region; therefore, in the right part of the stop wall there is a brave harvester driver, and in the center of it, there is a gopher, the local inhabitant of the endless steppe.
  • “Timur
    Karaganda region,
    Kazakhstan
    This bus stop more modest and dark-coloured but it is no less informative. Soviet minimalism: two large concrete slabs form a structure referring to letter “A”.
  • “Timur
    The village of Michurino,
    Kazakhstan
    Different materials were used to build and decorate such stops. In addition to painted bus stops, there are also bus stops decorated with mosaic.
  • “Timur
    Karaganda region,
    Kazakhstan
    The size of the bus stop depended on the number of people living in the nearest settlement. Only several persons could find shelter under the roof of this stop.
  • “Timur
    The village of Uspenka,
    Kazakhstan
    And this bus stop is meant for a larger number of people, as there is a village of Uspenka nearby, with its almost 5000 population.
  • “Timur
    The village of Tort-Kuduk,
    Kazakhstan
    Despite the sad fate and the indefinite future of most of the settlements and villages, the local municipalities are doing their best to take care of these buildings’ look. They paint them, repair and erase bad (and sometimes good) inscriptions made by rare guests.
  • “Timur
    The village of Shortandy,
    Kazakhstan
    It is a great pity the number of such bus stops is decreasing from year to year. These stops are still functional and, more importantly, they tell us about a whole epoch in our history. I am convinced these are not just bus stops in the steppe but architectural memorials worth preserving.

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