“First, there was a park. The park stood for everything home didn’t. Joy, celebration, play, happiness, friends, chirping, laughing, people, people, more people, shashlik, kvas, pure fun. People of all ages came to the park, full of excitement, fresh and clean out of the sauna, wearing their best skirts and jackets. Men tried not to overdo with drinking, while women gathered in small groups and spoke about children and criticised some girl’s unusually colourful or unusually short dresses. The park was everything home and daily work wasn’t.
Later, a song stage was built in the park. Every proper kolkhoz should have it’s own song stage, it was a matter of pride. After the big song stage, small village stages were built all around the country, one more extravagant than the other. This took the park to a whole new level, now the party didn’t need to come to an end when it started to rain, since musicians were playing under the roof, with their equipment dry. People could dance until morning, without worrying about getting their feet covered in mud. The important thing was to be close, skin to skin, with another person, in the darkening night. And the band was playing and playing. The more stages there were, the more people could sing and dance. A song stage is never just about the stage”.
Extract from the essay “Park, Song and Stage” written by Kätlin Kaldmaa
series of 49 photographs, 2009 – 2011
41cm x 50cm, digital c-print on aluminium, frame
82cm x 100cm, digital c-print on aluminium, frame