Friday 15 July 2011

You had me at 'polar bears'

This image in a Salon slideshow of abandoned towns and buildings made my brain dart straight to Michael Stevenson.

The caption sealed the deal:
At 79 degrees north, Pyramiden was once an ideal Soviet community of 1,000 settlers: self-reliant, with free food and 50,000 books in the library. In 1998, mining was no longer sustainable and the settlers were given a few hours to pack. Melancholic remnants of their hasty departure are everywhere: dried-up plants on windowsills, Tolstoy on dusty shelves. We carry guns; a necessary precaution as Pyramiden now belongs to polar bears and cackling seagulls, nesting in windows and on rusted playground swings.
I have my fingers firmly crossed for a Michael Stevenson Soviet utopia with bonus polar bears.

Then again, perhaps we have a Michael Parekowhai on our hands? According to Wikipedia:
The world's northernmost grand piano is located at Pyramiden; a "Red October" (Красный октябрь) grand piano is located in the auditorium of the cultural centre.

1 comment:

Bronwyn said...

Hi Courtney,

Thought you might find this interesting - an abandoned entertainment park “Gulliver’s Kingdom" in Japan.