Introducing the audience to his next deltiologic project “Minsk: time travel”, Vladimir Likhodedov, well known to the readers of “Belarus” magazine, stated, “…our city, full of monuments, men of note, amazing evidences of the last йpoques!”
Minsk, which develops energetically and comes to new centuries as the capital of a sovereign state in spite of destructions and anxiety of the past centuries, was and remains a favorite city — the pride of Belarusian people. To realize and feel it, looking attentively at architectural historical and landscape fragments of material memory and casting an occasional look, is a feature of manners and education of a citizen-patriot. Making an excursion trip through the present Minsk, you have a unique possibility to be armed with a reference book, exclusively rich in visual historic information. Its characteristic peculiarity is the fact that pictures, illustrating the present image of the city, specify addresses and views of the old post cards. You can consider such a retrospective review of the native capital as a peculiar textbook of patriotic “Minsk science.” You hold a book, with which you can travel through time.”
The collector represents a unique photo-monography about Minsk of different times to the readers and viewers. It is remarkable that the book publication in a capital printing-house “Tekhnologia” coincided with the opening of a cognominal exhibition in the State Museum of History of the Great Patriotic War.
Talking about printed products, “Minsk: time travel” is the fourth deltiologic book by Vladimir Likhodedov, the first of them — “Sinagogi” — became available for the readers by the end of the last year. The books “In search of the lost” and “Falling stars of the Motherland” followed it. The collector of old post cards organized three exhibitions in a famous museum of Belarus. Besides, they are the projects of this year. I deliberately underline this circumstance to note that the things done by Vladimir Likhodedov solve a formidable task of historical education by means of a usual old post card.
The collector made its private collection to serve to the community, to the building of historical awareness of his fellow citizens. This is also essential, because an attitude to a post card, which, as a rule, was kept in the archives and was not always greeted as an exposition object, changes in Belarus. The things done by Vladimir Likhodedov, printed by the ewspapers “Belarus segodnia,” “Golas Radzimy,” magazines “Belarus,” “Maladosts,” reproductions of post cards from his collection, exhibitions, which take place not only in Minsk, but travel throughout the country, and in some cases obtain permanent registration in the district centers of Belarus, — all this contributes to historical and regional ethnography work. Mogilev, Glubokoe, Mozyr, Marjina Gorka, Zhirovichi, Polotsk — these are cities and settlements, forming the project’s geography, started more than four years ago by a usual newspaper page “In search of the lost…”
It was told at the opening of the exhibition “Minsk: time travel” by the editor-in-chief of the newspaper “Belarus segodnia”, the honoured worker of culture of Belarus Pavel Yakubovich, the First Deputy Minister of Information of the country Lilia Ananich, the Director of the Museum of History of the Great Patriotic War Sergey Azarenok, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Ukraine to the Republic of Belarus Igor Likhovoy, the Deputy Minister of Culture Viktor Kurash, the professor and a famous culturologist Adam Maldis and many guests, who came to a real deltiologic festival, from Kiev, Odessa, Moscow, Saint-Petersburg…
You can be an amateur and still open the corners of the old and familiar native city. A formula of combination of the past historical landscape and the present is the best assistant in expansion of the worldview, saturation with difficult information, which sometimes has to be found in different and difficult-to-obtain books. “Minsk: time travel” is a publication, which can be used with the same interest by teachers and pupils, who cognize historical information about Minsk. The book consists of eight basic sections: “Privokzalnaya Square”, “Independence Square”, “Liberty Square”, “Oktyabrskaya Square”, “Independence Avenue”, “Lenin Street”, “Karl Marx Street”, “Corners of old Minsk.” Do you want to know how Privokzalnaya Square looked like? You are welcome. It’s enough to open the tenth page and you find yourself at Vilensky railway station. An old post card of the end of the XIXth century is the first to introduce us to it. Obviously, this post card is one of the first in Belarus. We read in the “Encyclopedia of literature and art in Belarus:” “In Belarus illustrated post cards were issued from the 1890’s by private printing houses of Minsk, Vitebsk, Grodno, Brest…” If you are in doubt and can’t understand exactly, where and in what place you “are situated”, in the nineteenth or in the beginning of the twentieth century, look to the right — the present photo will lead you to today and will specify the address. After Vilensky railway station, you will open Brest railway station… Now on its place a building is situated in the district of the University of Culture and Arts. The following pages will show how the Roman-Catholic Church of the St. Simon and St. Helen looked like, well known to Minsk citizens and guests of the capital. It is remarkable that there are souvenir post cards with a project of a new Roman-Catholic Church (an architect Т.Pejdersky) in the collection of Vladimir Likhodedov. Nearby, on the present “Miasnikov Square,” an Orthodox church in the name of the icon of Kazan Madonna was situated. Nearby there was a chapel in honor of the wonderful salvation of the imperial family. Post cards of the end of the XIXth century preserved, as well as several post cards dated 1918.
It is impossible to skip over a book “Minsk: time travel” without excitement. It will surely become a family heirloom, a publication to be handed down from generation to generation for people enamored with their native city. Nimble participants can visit the State Museum of History of the Great Patriotic War, where you will see the originals of post cards and a contemporary photo-journal of a capital landscape and Vladimir Likhodedov, the noted laureate of the Prize of the President of the country “For spiritual renewal,” at the exhibition, which will work for several months.
Ales Karliukevich. Postcards from a collection of Vladimir Likhodedov