Dmitry Ermakov captures generation claiming Tatar identity – in photos – the Calvert Journal
Kazan eventually won the title of Russia’s “third capital” from the city of Nizhny Novgorod in 2009, although it still lags behind Moscow and St. Petersburg in terms of living standards. “Many people in Kazan have recently moved to the city from small towns and villages. There is still a lot of crime and poverty in these regions, overshadowed by the reported increase in oil-fueled wealth in Tatarstan, ”Ermakov said. “Socially, there is a huge divide. The rich live lifestyles comparable to rich Muscovites, but the majority mask their poverty.
Sharp divisions also dominate topics such as language and religion. Surprisingly perhaps, young people in Kazan tend to speak Tatar better than their parents. “In the 1970s, for example, it was not at all common to speak Tatar in Tatarstan,” Ermakov adds. The decline of the language was partly due to practical reasons – in Soviet times Russian was the only language common to thousands of ethnicities making up the then USSR – and partly because of socialist officials. repressing local languages. The Tatar language was rejuvenated after the fall of the Soviet Union, but its revival may be short-lived. Since 2017, public schools are required by law to teach in Russian, and the Tatar language is no longer compulsory for children.