Humble Days



Alexey Kovalev (b. 1988, Russia) worked on his project Humble Days between 2009 and 2012, photographing 'Kommunalka': communal apartment housing in Russia, and the residents that inhabit them. These communal apartments were designed as a response to the housing crisis in urban areas during the Russian revolution in the former Soviet Union with the purpose to form a new collective vision of the future. Later these types of buildings became a symbol for the stagnation for a whole generation and heavily impacted the inner lifestyle of the residents. 

For this series, Kovalev captured some of the residents during their daily routines at home. Other images feature parts of the interior; the shared hall, kitchen and living room, all grim and dark.

Typically a communal apartment is shared between two to seven families. Kovalev wanted to portray the situation of the inhabitants, showing the interaction between them. ''Living in close proximity either alienates people or it brings them closer together,'' Kovalev says, ''the living conditions, gender, age, distance, relations, everything are mixed and loose, or they acquire a new meaning in the walls of the 'Kommunalka'.''