Photographer: Dmitry Ermakov
Title: Ad Astra
Location: Astrakhan, Russia
Period: 04/2021 - 09/2021
Category: Environment

The Volga river flows through Russia. Its banks surrounded with the centers of former Eurasian civilizations. The main of these places is Astrakhan city in the Volga delta. This is perhaps the most international point on the Russian map. Tatars, Russians, Armenians, Kalmyks, Greeks, Persians — there is no other place in Russia with such a powerful ethnic and cultural mix.

With the collapse of the USSR, the Astrakhan region became another region with a low standard of living. The only thing that remains the same in the administrative center, except for people and fishing, is the antique architecture.

In the spring of 2021 it became known that the city authorities plan to declare more than 2,200 homes in Astrakhan — or Astra, in popular parlance — as emergency. So, in the future, they are subject to demolition. These houses are mainly built in the XIX century and they has been forming the face of the city for a long time. If the giant plan really happens, then Astrakhan will become a typical regional center with a bunch of identical nine-story buildings.

And although some people don’t believe the information on the demolition, most residents are against. They want to save not only their homes, but also the magical charm of the entire city. The aim of my trip through Delta is to capture this magic.

An old house yard in Astrakhan

The way they dry fish in Astrakhan

An old house in Astrakhan

An old house in Astrakhan

Ksenia at an old house terrace

Karina and Kristina baby at home