Published by Junsuke Yamasaki we present a series of spreads from the Russian youth vanguard's acclaimed book
Heart of Moscow
January 16, 2012
Satellite Voices talks to Alexander Elzesser, the founder of Moscow’s new city souvenirs ideology
- Text by Kemal Tarba
Babúshkov™ is a Moscow based initiative that directs its activities at promotion of Russian culture and showcasing Moscow as one of the most exciting cities in the world. Their new project entitled Heart of Moscow is a red and white series of various city related objects, designed as a new symbol and city brand, increasing positive attitude towards the city. We talked to Alexander Elzesser, the Heart of Moscow project manager, to find out more…
Satellite Voices: Why red + white?
Alexander Elzesser: This has many explanations, and most difficult is to choose which one to start with. In general, red is very suitable for Moscow. First of all red colour is active and bright, and Moscow definitely is the city of passion. Secondly, the red is present on the historical coat of arms of Moscow. Thirdly, it is a warm colour, and recently Moscow is severely lacking warmness. Fourthly, in old Slavonic language red (krasniy) referred to something beautiful (krasiviy). That's why our main square is called Red, not because Kremlin walls are red.
Besides other things, the heart is usually taken to represent by red. And the similarity of shapes of heart and the domes of Moscow’s churches has enabled us to draw an analogy with one of the most recognisable symbols of Moscow - red and white ornament of the dome of St. Basil's Cathedral, which also forms a set of letters M and is located in the heart of the city. Here is the Heart of Moscow! By the way, Cathedral had just turned 450 years, and is one of the oldest buildings of Moscow.
SV: What do you think is the most fascinating thing about Moscow?
Alexander Elzesser: Moscow is a city of contrasts. This is a banal definition, but it most accurately describes the city in two words. A rare beauty and fine culture coexist in the same space with rudeness, squalor and bad taste. In best of its aspects Moscow is similar to Berlin. Big city which adjoins the glass architecture of 21 century and the old mansions, charming century-old apartments with buildings of the Soviet period and the communist mosaic of Nikita Khrushchev’s period of economical construction.
If we talk about the content - Moscow is a place of rich culture, tragic and joyous history locations, active nightlife, and museums that can be proud of their unique collections. Unfortunately, in 20 years after the fall Berlin Wall, the German capital has done more positive steps in infrastructure development and general urban culture than Moscow. In our city there are a lot of problems, but these are issues of politics and city management that should not be talked about here. In any case, we believe that this distance from Berlin, is possible to reduce over the next years. Moscow today is a beautiful and interesting place, full of experiences and adventures.
SV: What's your dream project?
Alexander Elzesser: I always wanted to make a beautiful and interesting brand with high quality products that at the same time would have been available and popular. I think coupled with our boundless love for Moscow, Heart of Moscow can become such a project for everyone who is working on it!
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