Josef Stalin overhearing a woman's telephone conversation. If he hadn't been just a statue she might have been in trouble.
This is from the grounds of the Stalin Museum in Gori, the Georgian town where the Soviet dictator was born in 1878. From the bus station the museum is reached by walking up the street to the huge Stalin Square, where you turn left along Stalin Avenue. You can't miss it.
In spite of the ruthlessness of his rule Josef Stalin is still very much the local hero in Gori, and actually in all of Georgia, and nowhere in this museum is there any mention of Gulag, deliberate mass starvation or mass killings. I saw one sign noting briefly the "excesses of the Communist party", but there was no reference to who was the leader of that party.
Not even in the much more modern Museum of Georgia in the capital Tbilisi, where there is a permanent exhibition on "70 tears of Soviet occupation", did I see any critical assessment of the Stalin epoch.
Two more pictures from the Stalin Museum are shown as workshops.
Critiques | Translate
tyro (26138) 2012-07-18 8:44
A well seen and well taken photograph! This girl might indeed have found herself in very deep water had that not been just a statue but Josef Stalin himself!
Isn't it curious how someone who must rank as one of the most evil and ruthless individuals of the 20th Century still appears to command so much respect in this country? And even that they could have demolished all the buildings around the home of his youth (in one of your workshop pictures): better that he had been drowned at birth.
A very fine trio of photographs and a very interesting note about them. This particular one was well observed, the young girl sitting innocently (I hope she appreciates her innocence and freedom) in clear earshot of old Stalin. Good colours, perfect exposure and excellent detail and sharpness.
annjackman (21901) 2012-07-18 9:04
A great title and a a fascinating picture. The juxtaposition of the woman on the phone and the statue of Stalin is curious and thought-provoking. Your note was most informative. A very well seen and taken scene - TFS.
Kind Regards, Ann
Disabled_A (0) 2012-07-18 12:31
as always, you present a photo where "something's going on", and an interesting Note :)
what a subject for a photo-story!..
By the way, that building with red balconies enlivens this "green" scene!
pajaran (63484) 2012-07-18 13:22
Dobar tekst sa datim podacima ...
Covek koji je ostavio svoj trag u istoriji Rusije.
Lep spomenik i park, zena ceka prijatelja na klupi.
Dobar ostrina snika i kontrast, lepe boje.
Dobar rad sa lepim fotografijama u radionici.
Prijatno vece i mirna noc, sve najbolje.
Good text with the given data ...
The man who made his mark in the history of Russia.
Nice park and monument, a woman on the bench waiting for a friend.
Good sharpness ets and contrast, beautiful colors.
Good work with some nice pictures at the workshop.
A pleasant evening and a quiet night, all the best.
marabu61 (11189) 2012-07-18 14:26
Very well spotted and well reacted to the scene. The girl is indeed lucky it is only the great masters statue. I like these kind of pictures that tell us a story.
Hejdo fran Schweiz
Daniel (having been working and living in Stockholm for two years in the early 80ties)
abmdsudi (56344) 2012-07-18 20:09
The juxtaposition works a treat here, love the way you have left the two key factors in this shot leading the eyes and highlights the contrast worlds apart between the two. Looking at fiercesome uncle Joe is just like turning back in time 50 years! What a capture and the description gives it depth and reason which is the appeal, the colour has so much more impact for me and touch of red commie color amongst the lush greenery ties in pretty well with the subject matter.
The irony is inescapable! and as a political force, the commie regime has dwindled to nearly nothing in Eastern Europe now defunct Iron Curtain. I am just taking the mick a bit here, I respect people's right to belive in political extremes, providing it remains within the boundaries of non violence and the acceptence of the democratic process. This leading figure may look a small man now, but not in History of the vast country. Like it a lot as a journalistic piece, it works well together with your valuable narrative and all the three images. Well done :))
Budapestman (82620) 2012-07-19 1:54
a Joseph Stalin staue? ....surprising spectacle. A suggestive photo with attractive composition, superb colours and lights. The title of the photo is superb, Tfs! Have a nice week! Kellemes hetet kívánok!
Nicou (146830) 2012-07-19 2:41
génaile composition d'iamge avec tout ŕ gauche la statue et tout ŕ dorite la dame sur le banc trčs bien vue sueprbe cadrage et cpatage.
Bravo et amitié
John_F_Kennedy (43757) 2012-07-19 4:23
A fine composition with that statue and I like also the presence of the woman on the bench
wolf38 (31296) 2012-07-19 4:46
Hello Gert. It would be a miracle if Stalin had not seen in his native Georgia. Many people admire these people in power still. The title is original. Interesting photo and interesting workshop. Rgds, Wolfgang.
jhm (156536) 2012-07-19 6:34
Sixty ago could this are a miracle, talk on a bench, but indeed with the hear of the big boss, beside the young lady!
Your light management is perfect.
Again a wonderful image with splendid real colors.
Sharpness and clarity are wonderful.
Composition and presentation be superb. TFS.
Have a nice day,
saxo042 (37910) 2012-07-19 7:15
Although the two main persons in this picture are looking in different directions, there seems to be a clear connection between them. It is obvious that the man in the upper left corner is eavesdropping! Interesting note.
siamesa (28123) 2012-07-20 7:24
Bom dia Gert
Funny capture. A very interesting scene and a creative idea.
bukitgolfb301 (43610) 2012-07-20 13:24
Hi dear Gert
If Stalin were alive, she shall be arrested urgently with no reason, right?
Best combination of two people, best balanced clear wonderful shot as usual. Best balanced framework shot too! Thanks for your good work and have a good weekend!
Takero from Tokyo, why rain again here?
emka (102638) 2012-07-21 0:12
Hi gert, It is like travel back in time. Of course, I remember Gori as a birthplace of this Joseph-linguist, aka Soso. But I am surprised that his monument is still there. Amazing shot and I like the title and the note. Haha, I still remember the short verse I learned one year after Stalin's death (and it was quite a long time ago.) Fantastic TE contribution.
Interesting also two workshops. Amazing.
We had no Stalin's monument in Poland, only the symbolic one in Warsaw - the Palace of Culture and Science in his name. For a short time Katowice changed the name to Stalinogród.
ourania (48802) 2012-07-22 12:23
the lady is at ease and its interesting that she and the statue are looking at opposite directions. She is free to mind her own business. Your composition is great, the light management and the natural colours superb. The scene has a wonderful naturalness which offers information, though, and stimulates a stream of thoughts. After reading the very interesting observations in your note, the conclusion is that after all people believe what they choose to believe. Well done and thank you!
All the best, have a good night and week,
agjika (3177) 2012-07-24 15:29
If you said you took this photo somewhere in Albania in the 80s I would have believed you! Badly finished monument, badly asphaleted road, uncut grass, weeds and the characteristic bench. Yes I am old enough to have seen Stalin's statues in Albania but unlike in Georgia they were the first to crush to the ground in 1990 he was not alone though!
I can see why the Georgians like him though, it is a small place where this "great man!" came from.
Thanks for sharing
eldancer1 (36343) 2012-07-27 9:24
Awesome capture of this woman on the telephone and the statue of Stalin. Indeed, big brother is everywhere. Good lighting and dof with nice details. Well done, tfs.
serp2000 (45066) 2012-07-29 13:05
Fortunatelly I was born some later after his rules.
Aleksander (Graal) said me about this photo yesturday in Elblang.
I wonder this fact that is still very polpular theme. And I know a few fans of Stalin too. An interesting presentation of Gori.
Greetings from Poland!
ACL1978 (7511) 2012-08-04 7:16
Ha! What a fabulous idea for a shot, Gert - you've turned the somewhat disturbing love Georgia (and, for that matter, much of the former USSR) has for Stalin into a nice commentary on the modern area as well as the history. Well conceived and framed, with a nice informative note.
PiotrF (20608) 2016-08-09 16:39
An interesting scene from Gori. Good idea and great realization.Interesting workshop.You have a very good series of photos of Georgia
batalay (39557) 2016-09-23 16:18
Thanks for sharing the excellent photograph as well as the information. It appears to be a marble statue rather than bronze, and much more difficult to create. Almost sixty years after he passed away, I imagine the woman on the phone is neither in awe nor in fear of the personification of evil. His daughter Svetlana married an American architect and lived in Charlottesville, Virginia the last couple of decades of her life.