Irkutsk Oblast



Irkutsk Oblast

Name: Elena Anosova

Age: 32

Profession: Graphic Designer, Photographer

City/Region: Irkutsk and Irkutsk oblast

How long have you been doing photography? What style or genre most interests you? About three years. Visual stories. Documentary.

Can you give us a short description of your city? Where is it located? What is it famous for? The region lives in the shadow of its main attraction: Lake Baikal. Aside from the traditional omul fish and the tender nerpa seals, we have plenty to see: excellent wooden houses and the Taltsy Open Air Ethnographic Museum, which is so good it is often compared with Sweden's Skansen Museum.

Irkutsk oblast is a large region. Part of it is located in the North: people live very isolated lives there, in small villages. In the winter, the temperature can drop to minus 50 Celcius. The people lere live off hunting and fishing.

There are loads of excellent places on Baikal that even locals have never seen. Olkhon Island is a mecca for tourists from all over the world. It is nice at any time of year, but especially magical in winter. Baikal freezes, or, as the locals put it, it “rises” [встает] only in February-March. At this time of year, the universe’s largest ice rink forms around Olkhon Island…

Irkutsk is the capital of the region. It has 600,000 residents and they all live together peacefully. In 1661 the Cossacks landed on Buryat soil and built an outpost. To this day the native Buryats and the Russians live together peacefully. Such things as nationalism are a great rarity here.

If you ask an Irkutyanin about the city’s main features, they will name the homes of the exiled Decembrists, historical objects and some other historical facts. For example that the Czech writer Yaroslav Gashek lived in Irkutsk and in 1905 founded the first Buryat newspaper (still publishing). Or that the White Guard Admiral Kolchak lived out his final days here and was executed in this city.

Irkutsk has traditions: city carnival in summer, Christmas concerts by the world famous pianist Denis Matsuyev (a native son). And other events fill up the city and region, and guests arrive here from all over the world: ethnic festivals and large ecological actions on Olkhon Island, the Baikal Cup Ice Regatta, free-ride on Mamai Mountain and others.

What is something about your city that only locals would know? 

Buuzy and pozy [буузы и позы] are two different types of dumplings. Byyzy are made with mince meat, pozy with ground meat.

The nerpa seal is a surprising animal. For example if it is pregnant and under great stress, its fetus may simply disappear of its own accord.

During his trip through Siberia, Anton Chekhov wrote that “Irkutsk is an entirely intelligent city.” To this day, we take pride in this.

Which places or sites are a must for someone to see if they visit your city?

The Circumbaikal Railway is an amazing architectural wonder.

Bratsk Hydroelectric Station – it contains all of the power of Soviet builders of the past century.

Taltsy Museum for Wooden Architecture.

Irkutsk Planetarium – the first private planetarium in Russia. It is in the historic 130 section.

Olkhon Island.

Anything else you would like to add? My website is anosova.com

 



Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

At the Circus

At the Circus

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.
Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

The Life Stories collection is a nice introduction to contemporary Russian fiction: many of the 19 authors featured here have won major Russian literary prizes and/or become bestsellers. These are life-affirming stories of love, family, hope, rebirth, mystery and imagination, masterfully translated by some of the best Russian-English translators working today. The selections reassert the power of Russian literature to affect readers of all cultures in profound and lasting ways. Best of all, 100% of the profits from the sale of this book are going to benefit Russian hospice—not-for-profit care for fellow human beings who are nearing the end of their own life stories.
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.
Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
Steppe / Степь

Steppe / Степь

This is the work that made Chekhov, launching his career as a writer and playwright of national and international renown. Retranslated and updated, this new bilingual edition is a super way to improve your Russian.
Russia Rules

Russia Rules

From the shores of the White Sea to Moscow and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Rules is a high-speed thriller based on actual events, terrifying possibilities, and some really stupid decisions.
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955