Moscow is a vast city of busy people, traffic jams, a noisy subway, aggressive advertising, street lights, expensive shop windows and quiet loneliness. Like a huge teeming anthill where the inhabitants carry out their everyday functions like cogs in a machine.
The subjects of my photographs are young people who left the provinces and moved to the capital for diverse reasons. For them that means new surroundings, a different rhythm and different rules of behavior. Some feel in their element here, others are oppressed and overwhelmed by the megalopolis.
I met them and put the same questions I ask myself. What do they want from the city? What are their thoughts and dreams, what do they hope for, how do they feel in this environment?
— Ivan Mikhaylov
FeatureMetropolisRussian photographer Ivan Mikhaylov has assembled a wonderful series of portraits and short interviews with young people who have moved from the provinces to find new lives in the bustle of Moscow.
Russian photographer Ivan Mikhaylov has assembled a wonderful series of portraits and short interviews with young people who have moved from the provinces to find new lives in the bustle of Moscow.View Images
Russian photographer Ivan Mikhaylov has assembled a wonderful series of portraits and short interviews with young people who have moved from the provinces to find new lives in the bustle of Moscow.
Anatoly Shuvalov, 25 years old. Video programmes director. (4 years in Moscow). 'I left because I fell in love. And I needed to get work experience, do my own thing. This is my city. I like the pace of things, feel at home here, don't get much sleep and work hard. Always busy with something. The only thing that irritates me is the traffic jams. I'm a battery.' © Ivan Mikhaylov
Yevgenia Maximova, 23 years old. TV journalist. (1 year in Moscow) 'I came to Moscow to get ahead in my profession, and if my ideas and projects were just illusions before, now I can realize them. I enjoy that most of all. The first day after arriving in Moscow I looked at everything wide-eyed. The lights of the city at night were impressive, and all the beautiful cars, all different.'
Oleg Volkov, 23 years old. Marketing communications. (1 year in Moscow) 'Moscow's a city of adventurers. Here you can put your craziest ideas in action. Why did I leave? I felt restricted and bored in a small town. Couldn't see any development or perspectives for myself. But here it's dynamic, everything depends on you alone. Any path is open. You don't have the excuse.'
Irina Tsvetkova, 30 years old. Internet project director. (6 months in Moscow) 'For me Moscow's a new, uncomfortable and unfamiliar place. Don't have time to get to know it. All my free time is spent at work. It's a very lazy city, despite the bustle. I don't think I'll stay long. I'm a homebody.' © Ivan Mikhaylov
Vova Stepanov, 31 years old. IT Specialist. (8 years in Moscow) 'I came here to realize my potential. Its been mostly ups and downs so far. Im not too enthusiastic about this city. Its just a big, noisy city with lots of people. Its not my place, its strange to me. I think it depresses me. Ive got used to it, got acclimatized. I dont pay much attention to the bustle. I live in my own world.
Roman Felipov, 35 years old. Real-estate broker. (10 years in Moscow) I left my grandpa and I left my grandma, too. I was in need of education; the cinematography was the main reason to move here. I became an operator; I wanted to dedicate myself to art. At first, it was hard to find a job. Its fussy here, everything flows faster. You get used to the rhythm, people get used to anything.
Vova Migashko, 30 years old. Programmer. (7 years in Moscow) 'For me there's no alternative to this city. Nobody here owes me anything, I don't owe anybody anything. I'm an ambitious person. Even when I'm on time I walk quickly. I don't like it when other people overtake me. I'm self-sufficient.' © Ivan Mikhaylov
Sveta Arefyeva, 28 years old. Manager with a jewellery company. (4 years in Moscow) 'Why did I move to Moscow? I needed to leave the past behind. For me these new surroundings were a shock. Coming here to live and work is very different from staying awhile as a guest. For three days I was afraid to leave the house. '
Yevgenia Shuvalova, 26 years old. Account manager. (1Â½ years in Moscow)'I came to Moscow because I decided it was the thing to do, sometimes I get these herd instincts. Had my first impression of this 'splendid' city at about 12. A group of us visited here, mainly relatives. Clearly I exhausted my 'pig in clover' enthusiasm and any other emotional response to this city in that first trip.'
Sasha Ulyanov, 27 years old. Designer. (2 years in Moscow) 'When I came to the big city everything seemed big. I felt inadequate. Lots of cars, luxury it all seemed very expensive. The metro tired me out. Now I pay no attention to most of it. With each year my view of life has changed. I miss being surrounded by nature.'
Anna Putina, 31 years old. Internet specialist. (4 years in Moscow) 'I came here because I got fed up living in a small town. The first year I didn't feel as if I was in Moscow at all. Had no time, I was learning a new profession. Worked hard. I feel comfortable here. Although I wouldn't say Moscow is the city of my dreams. I'm as resolute as any man.' © Ivan Mikhaylov
Mikhail Musin, Fashion magazine designer. (3 years in Moscow)'To begin with I was irritated by the crowds. Everything is chaotic. When I arrived it was hard, if you don't have roots here you feel uncomfortable. Nothing was certain. Could be yes or no. Now I've joined the maelstrom. I live by the laws of this city, but I often break the rules. There are times when I like to be alone.
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