We asked twenty strangers to kiss for the first time….
Braden Summers traveled to six different countries to prove that no matter where you are, love is equal.
White Russia in Exile - Dmitri Belyukin, 1992-94.
After the Russian Revolution of 1917 (and into the 1920s and 30s), between 1-2 million white émigrés fled Russia. Despite what the term suggests, not all of these émigrés were necessarily supporters of or participants in the White movement (though, of course, many were). Some left for religious reasons - the Orthodox Church in Russia, for the most part, was anti-Bolshevik and usually pro-White, while the Bolsheviks were secular and deemed the Church “counter-revolutionary”. At least three religious figures are pictured in the above painting: a nun in a white habit, a clergyman wearing an Epitrachil and pectoral cross, and perhaps a monk.
Military figures are present as well. The man in the center-left with the red peaked cap wears the distinctive Totenkopf shoulder patch of the Kornilov Division. He and several of the other military men seem to all be wearing the Cross of St. George or the Order of St. George, both Imperial Russian military decorations. The white, blue, and red chevrons that some of the men wear are symbols of the White movement; these colors - the colors of the pre-Bolshevik Russian Republic/provisional government - were eventually adopted by the Russian Federation. Another interesting bit in this painting is the discarded pile of military uniforms in the foreground. A medal that closely resembles a Bolshevik/WWII-era Soviet decoration is pinned to one of them, and the color scheme fits as well; they are both probably pieces of Red Army clothing.
The double-headed eagle symbol (with a tiny Saint George mounted figure represented in the interior) located on the side of the boat is the Imperial Russian coat of arms; it had been in use since the 15th century and remained in use until the coat of arms was replaced by a more communist-y sort in 1918. The Russian Federation has since reinstated the double eagle symbol in its coat of arms.
"We met at the wrong time. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway. Maybe one day years from now, we’ll meet in a coffee shop in a far away city somewhere and we could give it another shot".
eternal sunshine of the spotless mind (2004)
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