Photographic Finds in a Time of Transition
Jul 23, 2013 10:00 PM
As a staff photographer for the leading daily newspaper of Nakhodka, Russia, from 1978 through his retirement in 2008, Georgy Pakin created an extensive and eloquent visual record of the life of this Pacific coast port city of 160,000 inhabitants located sixty miles from Vladivostok. Pakin’s subjects range from the orthodox (such as visits to Nakhodka by top-ranking Soviet officials and foreign delegations, public parades on state holidays, and the activities of the Nakhodka fishing fleet) to the intimate, critical and sometimes iconoclastic (school children at play, workers on strike, a street beggar, cows taking over an urban road, Nakhodka during a flood).
This exhibit features sixty of Pakin’s photographs taken over three decades, from the recently dubbed “period of stagnation” of the 1970s and early ‘80s, through late-1980s perestroika and the social turbulence of the early post-Soviet 1990s. Pakin’s connection to the U.S. Pacific Northwest dates to the late 1970s, when Bellingham Cold Storage collaborated with the Soviet Ministry of Fisheries to create the US-USSR Marine Resources Company (MRC), a joint fishing venture. At its inception Pakin’s wife got a job in the joint venture’s Nakhodka office, and together the Pakins began hosting and befriending a long line of her American colleagues from Washington State.
The exhibit is sponsored by Bellingham Cold Storage-Profish Inc. and the Bay of America Club, an association of the former American directors of MRC’s Nakhodka office.