The Urals is a geographical region in Russia and Kazakhstan. The Ural mountain ridge is the main part of this region. The Ural Mountains stretch for 2500 kilometers from the Arctic Ocean to Kazakhstan. The boundary between Europe and Asia runs along the Ridge.
The Urals is not only a geographical junction point but also a melting pot for different cultures. First people came here many centuries before Christ. In the Middle Ages pagan, Muslim and Christian cultures came across here and managed not to exterminate each other merging into something new. Russians, Tatars, Bashkirs, Ukrainians, Udmurts, Zyrians, Mari, Mansi are still living in the Urals side by side.
Since the 17th century and up till now the Urals is the industrial center of the country. After the Russians had completed the colonization of the region the industrial civilization became a new layer in the history of the Urals.
However, myths and reality, past and present of the Urals coexist today forming a peculiar Ural world different from anything else. Ancient pagan images guard mountains, rivers, forests and impregnate minds of the people living here.
This project is based on three starting points: the Mansi and Bashkir mythology, Pavel Bazhov’s writings and factory culture. The project title is a reference to Bazhov’s tales. He was the first to advert to the Ural mythology and turn heathen gods into fairy tale characters integrating them into the factory culture and among Ural heroes – the workers. Photo series “Tales” is an attempt to create a new image of the region based upon the richest cultural and historical material.