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Photo Essay: Inside Tashkent's Space-aged Subway Station

Public transit for the masses was one of the cornerstones of Communist ideology. In the 1930s, automobile production was limited in favour of building new metro systems. The best artists and sculptors were employed to decorate the stations with patterned ceilings, soaring arches and dazzling chandeliers. Many of the stations boasted elaborate mosaics of the Soviet space program or heroes of industry. 

After the ban on photographing the Tashkent metro in Uzbekistan was lifted in 2018, Amos Chapple went to Uzbekistan to photograph the stations on the Tashkent subway. Here are a few of his photos…


Photography inside the heavily policed metro was forbidden until June 2018 because of the military sensitivity of its second role as a nuclear bomb shelter


Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space. Tashkent’s Cosmonauts Station honors the enduring icons of the space race with its Milky Way glass star ceiling and atmospheric azure walls.


A cashier at an entrance to the metro. A trip costs 1,200 Uzbek soms (12p), making it the cheapest subway ride in the former USSR


A shimmering corridor linking two stations. After an earthquake devastated Tashkent in 1966, cautious planners reportedly reduced the depth and increased the strength of the metro, tunnelling within a few metres of the streets above.

A mural celebrating 2,200 years since the founding of Tashkent, inside Tashkent station


 

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"We've Inspected the Sky Inside & Outside. No Gods or Angels Were Found" | Russia | 1964£1,500.00
12th April Cosmonauts Day | Russia | 1985£400.00
12 April - Cosmonauts Day | Russia | 1989£350.00
List of all posters

Further Reading

architecture

Soviet Status Symbols: The Unique Balconies of the USSR

In Ukraine, there are balconies shaped like ship hulls and castles. DIY renovations extend over the streets below, each decorated in a unique style representative of their owner’s identity and requirements.

art

In Conversation with a Soviet Poster Artist: Vladimir Tverdokhlebov

Art runs in my family. My father Sergey Grigoryevish Tverdokhlebov was an artist and spent most of his life working as an art teacher. My uncle Ivan Grigoryevich Tverdokhlebov was a prominent artist in Russia and Chechnya.

culture

Murder, Money and Michael J Fox: Ice Hockey in the Wild, Wild East

Ice Hockey was everything in the Soviet Union. The USSR national team dominated ice hockey on the international stage, winning nearly every world championship and Olympic tournament from the early 50s up until the fall of the Soviet Union. After the USSR collapsed, the money dried up.

company

Celebrating 60 Years of Humans in Space with a New Tour

60 years ago today, humans left Earth for the first time. On 12th April 1961, Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, achieved Godlike status when he orbited the earth for 1 hour and 48 minutes onboard the Vostok 1. From outer space, borders vanish; and the conflicts that divide nations fade away. Space is our future.

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