expand/collapse this text box Summary
Ilya brings his young children to his former room and talks about his large family, the partition, and watching TV through its reflection in the polished armoire.
expand/collapse this text box Translation of the Russian Transcript
Vasya: Papa, where did you sleep?

Ilya: I slept, how can I explain this, I slept in that room.

Vasya: There?

Ilya: Yes, in different places. And I slept in another room too. I had a little bed there.

Ilya: I want to show the children something. I want to show them the balcony. Look, this is the balcony we saw earlier. But when I was little everything was different, not like now, because there were six people living here. What's left now is—if you look up, you can see what's left of the divider. There was a divider here, a big wall. So everything was a little different. Grandma Liza lived here, and Grandma Zhenya, and a few more grandmas who you don't know and who don't know you. But everybody lived together.

Ilya: I remember that there was a little stand in that corner, with a television on it. A really old television. And here there was a wardrobe, and the way my bed was set up, I could see the reflection of the television on the shiny wardrobe, and I used to think I was seeing something. Okay, say goodbye to Sveta. Goodbye, see you!

expand/collapse this text box Details in Photographs
Apartment I floor plan
Floor plan of the apartment from Tours 1-2 (all clips), home to "auntie" Asya, Ekaterina Sergeevna, Masha, Sveta, and Natasha. 2006.

Entrance to a room
A sort of entryway is created using a refrigerator and bookshelf. See videoclip "Where He Slept" Tour 1. 2006.

Visiting a student
Across from the entrance to the room where Sveta, a student, is living temporarily, (see clip "Where He Slept," Tour 1) a visitor sees the back of a bookshelf which partly walls off the bed. 2006.

A room where seven people lived
A sideboard, desk, and cupboard in a row: an awkward makeshift layout. This room, where half a century ago seven people lived, is now rented by a student. See "Where He Slept" (Tour 1). 2006.

Traces of recently removed partitions
When seven people lived in the room shown in the clip "Where He Slept," Tour 1, the room was partitioned into three sections; now one student lives here temporarily. Renovations are planned. 2006.

Marks on the parquet from a wood stove
Ilya (see clip "Where He Slept") shows the children a spot on the floor burned by a cinder from the wood-burning stove which stood there during the Siege of Leningrad. 2006.

expand/collapse this text box Basic Facts and Background
When: Summer 2006

Where: A room in a communal apartment in a building in the prestigious historical center of St. Petersburg.

Who: 1) Ilya Utekhin, who lived in the building for over 30 years. At the time of filming he still had a room here, which we see, though he lived elsewhere. 2) Manya and Vasya, Ilya's children, on their first visit to the building; 3) Sveta, who has been renting Ilya's room for over two years under very advantageous conditions; 4) Slawomir, who is filming.

What: In 1924, this entire eleven-room apartment was given to Ilya's great-grandfather, Vikenty Cherezov, a Party economic manager who was arrested in 1937 for ties to Kamenev and Zinoviev, and died in the Gulag in 1938. Other families were gradually moved into the apartment and eventually the Cherezovs were left with this single room. In the 1960s, when the apartment had over fifty tenants, six people were living in this room.

Almost all the furniture here belongs to Ilya. The dishes on display belonged to his grandmother Elizaveta. The books and other contemporary items are Sveta's.

The partitions were removed two months before filming. A renovation has been scheduled for the near future. The neighbors from the clip "The Roof Garden" in this Tour also removed their plywood partitions and brought them out to the terrace—see the photo Door to the roof garden and part of the terrace.

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