Communal Living in Russia: Photos
Photographs from other apartments: Child in hallway
  The hallway is good for playing and riding a toy car. 2007.
  Basic Facts and Background
  When: February 2007

Where: The hallway of a large communal apartment on the outskirts of one of the central districts of St. Petersburg.

Who: Laura, a one-and-a-half-year-old girl who lives here with her parents.

What: In the hallway of this apartment, which used to be "employee housing," there is an expensive, bright, energy-saving light bulb which the residents apparently pooled their money to purchase. It costs five times more than an ordinary bulb.

Laura goes freely out into the hallway, plays here with her toys, and rides her toy car.

Along the walls and on top of the cabinets we see here all of the things which are usually kept in a storage room. There is no shared storage room in this apartment.

The boxes on the cabinet reflect the new opportunities that Soviet consumers could only dream of. Imported electronics were not widely available in the USSR until the 1990s.

The residents are not afraid to leave clothes, shoes, and other things here. All of this attests to their mutual trust and good relations. It is no accident that such relations exist among the people in this apartment, as all of the residents (or relatives of theirs) were somehow connected to the organization which provided employee housing here.

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