I was browsing the flea market of Chisinau ( the capital of Moldova, a small country in Eastern Europe ) last week when I came across an envelope with an old photo inside taken in 1950. It was representating a man posing in front of a monument. It looked like someone had just cleared out the contents of an old apartment, but I am fascinated by old photograph, so I bought it for almost nothing.
Checking more closely the picture, I noticed that the background was actualy the statue of Stefan cel Mare. This guy, a national hero in the local culture, was the “voievode” (or prince) of Moldova from 1457 to 1504. He defeated several times the Ottoman Empire and protected the country from the invasions. His statue, located in the center of Chisinau and erected in 1928.. is still there.
So, what do you think I did ?
I decided to take a photo in the same exact location today. Here is the result. Then and Now.
Who was the identity of the photographer ? Quite impossible to know. Is he still alive 67 years later ? Maybe but behind this pacific and calm photography, the context was special and… dark. Back in 1950, Moldova was part of the Soviet Union and the dictator Josef Stalin was still on power. During this period, deportations of locals to Siberia, and northern Kazakhstan occurred regularly.
Nowadays, in 2017, Moldova is an independant country (since 1991), a parliamentary republic and a member state of the United Nations.
Autor: Robin Koskas