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Photographing the brutally beautiful bus stops of the former Soviet Union

After stumbling across a peculiarly artistic bus stop in Lithuania, photographer Christopher Herwig began seeking out these Soviet relics with intent. His photos have since been published across two dedicated books and in magazines and journals around the world.

As told to Oliver Pelling

Around 15 or 16 years ago, I decided to ride my bike from London to St. Petersburg. It might sound like a big trip, but it was pretty leisurely. The roads were flat and easy to ride, and I was hoping to finish the trip with this great collection of photographs. But all I could see were roads and farms. There were no big or spectacular National Geographic-like moments.

To try and kick-start my photographic output, I decided to take at least one photograph every hour, even if it was of the most ordinary or mundane thing, and try and make it look special. Soon, time started to fly by. I took photos of power lines, clothes lines, apartment blocks, things I found on the ground—it was all fair game.

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Photographing the brutally beautiful bus stops of the former Soviet Union


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