7:56 The district of Rabocheye. Light is nothing but a tool that helps to communicate the principal component of photography the best one can – something that keeps you hooked subconsciously, the state that targets the viewer at the level of their instincts.

8:03. Akademgorodok (Science campus district). As a folk saying has it, a grayish morning promises a beautiful day.

8:00. The district of Rabocheye. Creation, maintenance and destruction are the three key processes in this world, whether we want it or not.

8:27. The district of Rabocheye. Sergey has come to fish to the lake at the outskirts of Rabocheye. Fishing for him is a meditating kind of activity that enables him to put thoughts together and set himself up for a new day. Morning is the best time for doing so.

6:10. The embankment of the Angara river. Any morning affair is in its own way a doorway into a new world, a way of transforming yourself and the surrounding reality.    

7:15. Yubileynyi. Morning transportation is a pet peeve for many occupants of the sleeper neighbourhoods.

7:31. Yubileynyi. Public transport in Irkutsk functions in a rather hectic manner. If you rely on the common rules without having some personal experience in using a particular line at a particular time, you might simply not get to your destination.

6:17. “Fortuna” area. Amusement rides for children. You can look at them from the side and understand what they look like in the morning while children have not yet started playing. These are the bright and helter-skelter spots in the grey and well-ordered look of the city. Similar to children in many people’s lives.   

8:20. Akademgorodok (Science campus district).  Vladimir Aleksandrovich is 84. He is heading to work at the Institute of Energy Systems where he researches the problems of lake Baikal through the prism of energy management and amendments to the Water Code.   

6:48. Sergiev Posad. The temple of Society for Krishna Consciousness.  Krishnaists stick to rather rigid rules, and morning for them is of great significance. People at the temple start getting up at 3:30 in the morning, which is followed by numerous practices serving to purify body and mind.

7:31. Krestovozdvizhenskaya church (The church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross). Artur Psarev, a bell-ringer: “It is impossible to toll a bell in the same way each day. It is an inimitable creative process closely connected to the environment. And it’s always different, especially in the morning. The fog, for instance, lies differently”.    

7:05. Yubileynyi. Moring is a transition from one state to another, a way of transformation.

5:49. The embankment of the Angara river. People doing sports at the embankment in the morning exercise individually, without any arrangement. Still, together they form a whole community, a hobby club.

7:29. City centre. The city, like any other living organism, requires regular cleansing practices. Morning is the best time for those.

9:43. Train station area. Any person regardless of their physical and mental abilities can develop if they have a chance of communicating and doing real work. This is exactly the chance given at “Nadezhda”, the Centre for work with the disabled since childhood.

8:15. District 130. Morning is a way to take a look at familiar things from a new perspective. An opportunity to learn something new about the subjects around us, or maybe notice them.

7:23. Glazkovo. Sometimes strange things happen to us. As if the usual settings of perceiving the social realm reset, and we are carried to some surreal world. Morning is great time for seeking such states of mind.

7:48. Sergiev Posad. The temple of Society for Krishna Consciousness. Kirtan is a dynamic method of working with one’s conscience through collective mantra singing, dancing and glorifying gods. The ritual has its impact, and those who practice this talk about the good mood at the very least

7:15. City centre. Many perceive morning as the time meant for sleep, as well as getting ready promptly, hurrying up to work and other things to do. There is little room for contemplation.

7:16 City centre. The main reason for discriminating the morning hours is lack of daytime and domination of nighttime in people’s lives as the only time for going about their business and actually living.   

8:35. City centre. Music College named after Frederik Chopin. Sometimes you get this feeling that to many people morning is not life itself but preparation for it.

9:05. Park of Paris Commune. We might not manage to delight in morning hours because of a slightly shifted biological rhythm, the result of living in the city.

7:43. Central Market. It is enough sometimes to just get into a different space, a village, for example, and even the most urbanized person will fairly quickly adapt to the light pattern typical for the place.

7:53. Central Market.  After the day of summer solstice, the light day becomes three minutes shorter every 24 hours. Everything around us is constantly changing, and indeed we are changing each second at the cellular level.

7:55. Central market. “It’s a question of discipline, when you’ve finished washing and dressing each morning, you must tend your planet”. Little Prince,  Antoine De Saint Exupery.

7:00. Train station. Oftentimes our life turns out to be the search for balance, an equilibrium.

6:58. Vtoroy Irkutsk (The Second Irkutsk district). A special infrastructure is created in the morning at the square in front of the aircraft factory. Starting from half past five pastries, tights, stationery, cigarettes (for which people queue endlessly) and newspapers are sold here. You can find here anything one might need in the morning.

7:40. MIA Institute. Morning is also a portal from one social state of a human into another, an opportunity to document the signs of this process.

9:47. Sverdlovskyi market. Daily queue waiting for the opening of one of the shops of a local pig-breeding farm. Soviet traditions are still in place when it comes to getting fresh meat delicacies. Besides, the stock is limited. It is said to be just three lorries per shop.   

8:21. Music College named after Frederik Chopin. Classes here start at nine, but many students arrive at seven. Morning here for them is a unique opportunity to practice in ideal conditions – having full access to musical instruments, in peace and silence.

6:57. The district of Rabocheye. Common assumption about mornings has once been formulated by Eeyore donkey: “Good morning, Pooh. If it is a good morning, which I doubt”.

7:23. Yubileynyi. Mamur, a driver, rubs car polish onto the wheels of the bus he drives. “For them to look better”, he explains.

8:36. Former Culture and Leisure Park. Once an unfamiliar woman called me to arrange a photoshoot. I decided to jump at this opportunity to shoot in the morning. Her answer made it clear how inappropriate my idea was: “A woman can’t look good in the morning”.

8:43. Solnechnyi district. Praise morning at day, and day at the end, a folk wisdom.

8:38. Academic bridge. Fog to me is always a feast. I have only found it several times during the summer in the city before, and was thrilled each time. Fog means changing the focus, cutting the unnecessary, purity. This year I have been lucky: it has been foggy in the city for two weeks in a row.

The morning flaneur

Photos and text by Anton Klimov

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Saunterer is a way to get to know the city by moving through it randomly.  You don’t know where you’re going and what is waiting for you around the corner. Spontaneity makes a researcher a part of the city: a person and a place communicate in a way that is Impossible to achieve by passive sightseeing or following a specifically designed tourist route. I used to employ this method for understanding new cities: I selected a starting point and went walking about for several hours, so this time I decided to try and take a fresh look at the city I live in. To start off, I needed to choose a context, a prism for observation.

Morning is a special time, when everything – from the light outside to communication between people, looks and happens differently – unusually, mysteriously, strangely. Morning is valued in many cultures and is considered the most important time of day: it is in the morning when the foundations for the upcoming day are laid. I have repeatedly experienced first-hand how one day can be different from another depending on when we wake up and what we do in the morning. So I had a wish to show the city in this state of renewal, to see it wake up and live.     

8:40 City centre. In a community where a fixed timetable is common, one of the main associations with morning is getting to work. A route scheduled in advance excludes any surprises, should they still occur, they are usually taken as hindrance on the way with the time limited.   

8:49 Siberian Expo Centre. People queuing up to touch the icon of the Most Holy Mother of God. Admittance into the room is from 10 am.

7:12 The district of Rabocheye. Kristina, a school student. Getting up in the morning for a walk to school form another morning association, which is successfully cultivated throughout the whole life.

7:35. The district of Rabocheye. Sergey opens the window shutters of his house. For our city this is more than just a mechanical action: It is the whole ritual, the symbol of the beginning of a new day, letting the light in – to a private territory of yours.

7:13. City centre.  Morning is appreciated by photographers – before anything else, for its light. Landscape artists like to lie in wait for the glow of dawn at previously targeted places. Street photographers look for deeper shadows deforming the familiar space.