soviet era housing

andrew miksys, 2000

from the book disko

“for ten years andrew miksys traveled the back roads of lithuania photographing teenagers in village discos (2000-2010). most of these discos are located in soviet-era culture houses where miksys would sometimes find discarded lenin paintings, old soviet movie posters, gas masks, and other remnants of the soviet union. he became fascinated by all this debris of a dead empire and the teenagers who visited the clubs.”

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An Intimate Look Inside The Lithuanian Disco Scene

From 2000–2010 Andrew Miksys photographed youth in village clubs along the back roads of Lithuania. Most of the venues Miksys explored are located in Soviet-era Houses of Culture where he sometimes found gas masks, Lenin paintings and other discarded remnants of the Soviet Union. As a Lithuanian-American from Seattle, he was intrigued by the history of the discos and the teenage culture in these European post-war communities. The images portray a new hopeful generation in a swirl of uncertainty, fog, and disco lights.

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precious things

Ship: Katsuki Yuuri/Victor Nikiforov

Rating: Not Rated

Summary: "When I get away from skating, two L words come to mind, Life and Love. I’ve been neglecting both for over twenty years.“ - Victor Nikiforov

Victor makes friends with depression before he knows its name, grows up with the ghost of it in his bones, gets acclimated to the chill. He’s a changeling’s child, a chameleon; he makes himself into all the things people want. He’s acclimated to his winter life, cold and stark and glittering success.

He has everything a person could possibly want. There’s no reason for discontent.

That is, there’s no reason for discontent until Katsuki Yuuri tumbles into his arms in Sochi. Suddenly the lies Victor has told himself about his own happiness for years are pouring through his fingers like sand and the things he doesn’t have at all are thrown in stark relief: he has a career and no life; he has a passion and no love.

Or: a retelling of those twenty years of neglect, that one night in Sochi, and why the season that gave both of those things back to Victor Nikiforov was the one he spent being Katsuki Yuuri’s coach.

Notes: Victor backstory

Review: Where do I even start???!!

Do I start with the incredible exploration of Victor’s family life? Who do I start yelling about first, his father or his mother? Is my favorite part the characterization or is it the exploration of setting? Is it the language, the prose? The A+ handling of sensitive content? 

thehandsingsweapon handles all this deftly and with the same grace Victor has on the ice: clean, technically masterful, and with a confident dignity that never crosses the line to too showy. 

The fic hits you in the face with its  Russian-ness from the very first paragraph; the author has clearly done their research and St. Petersburg comes alive in their words. It’s not just the St. Petersburg of the Mariinsky and of the Yubileyny Sports Palace, but also the St. Petersburg where Victor’s grandmother lives in a Soviet-era house with a guest bed mattress that “probably predates Stalin.” This conception of St. Petersburg feels lived-in, feels real; it feels less like a space that is logically required to predicate the existence of Victor and our St. Petersburg characters, and more like a womb that nurtured them all to life.

And the life that thehandsingsweapon gives Victor never feels overwrought or too dramatized. Victor, in this fic, strays far from fandom headcanons of Extra and instead settles into a life remarkable for its normalcy. He lives with family and doesn’t entirely get along with them, he makes friends and fails to keep them, he’s a moody teenager who listened to The Cure too loud and thinks that no one understands him. But therein lies this fic’s masterstroke – in immersing us in the humdrum, by holding a mirror to our boring daily lives, thehandsingsweapon reminds us of the quiet tragedy of unhappiness. They made Victor’s sadness a tangible thing, solidifies it to the bitterness of ash in your mouth. They take the vaguest statement from the original anime – I’ve been neglecting life and love for over twenty years – and articulates it in image after image of Victor trying to live a life patterned after what people tell him counts as a meaningful life and failing. 

There’s lots of great things packed into this WIP: Victor’s string of exes are well-thought out characters (shout out to Viktor and pegging, man I love this fic so much); a lot of canonically ignored characters make in-depth appearances here. Georgi, in particular, is a dear, and I AM SO THERE for Yakov and Lilia’s splintering marriage. We have only just managed to breach canon events with the newest update, but I’m hella excited for more Yuuri content because AAAAH I’m so in love with their Victor already, and am now just waiting to watch him fall in love. 

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The Lithuanian Disco Scene  

From 2000–2010 Andrew Miksys photographed youth in village clubs along the back roads of Lithuania. Most of the venues Miksys explored are located in Soviet-era Houses of Culture where he sometimes found gas masks, Lenin paintings and other discarded remnants of the Soviet Union. As a Lithuanian-American from Seattle, he was intrigued by the history of the discos and the teenage culture in these European post-war communities. The images portray a new hopeful generation in a swirl of uncertainty, fog, and disco lights.

andrew miksys, 2002

from the book disko

“for ten years andrew miksys traveled the back roads of lithuania photographing teenagers in village discos (2000-2010). most of these discos are located in soviet-era culture houses where miksys would sometimes find discarded lenin paintings, old soviet movie posters, gas masks, and other remnants of the soviet union. he became fascinated by all this debris of a dead empire and the teenagers who visited the clubs.”

The Lithuanian Disco Scene  

From 2000–2010 Andrew Miksys photographed youth in village clubs along the back roads of Lithuania. Most of the venues Miksys explored are located in Soviet-era Houses of Culture where he sometimes found gas masks, Lenin paintings and other discarded remnants of the Soviet Union. As a Lithuanian-American from Seattle, he was intrigued by the history of the discos and the teenage culture in these European post-war communities. The images portray a new hopeful generation in a swirl of uncertainty, fog, and disco lights.

The Lithuanian Disco Scene  

From 2000–2010 Andrew Miksys photographed youth in village clubs along the back roads of Lithuania. Most of the venues Miksys explored are located in Soviet-era Houses of Culture where he sometimes found gas masks, Lenin paintings and other discarded remnants of the Soviet Union. As a Lithuanian-American from Seattle, he was intrigued by the history of the discos and the teenage culture in these European post-war communities. The images portray a new hopeful generation in a swirl of uncertainty, fog, and disco lights.