The Venedict Yerofeev museum in Kirovsk

Venedict Yerofeyev (1938, Kandalaksha – 1990, Moscow) left us his Moscow to Petushki (Moscow to the End of the Line), a poignant satirical account of Soviet life in the 60s. This museum, occupying one large room in the Kirovsk City Library, is not very well known despite its web site and an article by the museum’s keeper Evgeny Shtal’. Exhibits are period articles, photos, documents from family archives, and paintings on the book’s theme. Below are a few photos of the museum.

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Population ~30 thousand. Hills, lakes, rivers. 120km north-east from Kandalaksha, very near to Apatity, a partdise for seekers of industrial antiutopia.

Wheat as the symbol of Kirovsk does not mean it grows here. Apatite is mined and processed into phosphate fertilizers in Kirovsk, fertilizers in turn make things grow, thus the emblem of Kirovsk.

The city is named after Kirov, a Bolshevik leader assassinated in 1934, thus all these Kirovsks, Kirovs, Kirovograds etc. The system of suffixes allows extensive recycling of a small number of words. Each Russian city will have at least one Ulitsa Kirova. In Kandalaksha we live on Kirovskaya. Unavoidable. This region was industrialized in the late 30s, during the Kirov-naming mania. Still, Kirovsk itself looks and feels quite civilized and cultured.

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