Sergey Poteryaev: Staraya Utka

Staraya Utka (in Russian it sounds like an «old duck») is a village in Sverdlovsk region of the Urals. It sprang to life and prospered after a factory was built in the firth of River Utka in 1729. But at some point the administration lost concern in the development of the factory, and the productivity fell. This Factory – Staro-Utkinsky Metallurgical Factory – was feeding the growth of the village, so when its productivity fell, the life of the village started to wither. Unfortunately, that is the typical faith of many Ural villages. While travelling in Urals you come across the same landscape time and time again – a dam, reservoir and factory, with residential buildings around. In most cases the factories are no longer working, so the fate of the villages is clear – decay. In more fortunate places some work is provided by timber plants, that appear in place of closed deteriorated factories. For this project I used my own photographs together with the ones I found in the archives of the residents. I was using montage to understand whether there is anything similar in the life of people of Staraya Utka then and now, and what changes did the factory closure bring to the life of residents.

To see more of Sergey’s work, please visit his website.