How a Russian Factory Gave Birth to a Street-Art Renaissance
A tiny Russian factory town is a curious place to find street art around every corner, but that’s exactly what photographer Elena Chernyshova saw when she wandered into Vyksa, a mono-industrial community 230 miles east of Moscow.
In the mid-1800s, two brothers, the Batashevs, discovered a large deposit of iron ore in an uninhabited forest in western Russia. They developed the area—clearing trees, creating ponds to use for hydropower, and eventually founding an iron ore factory in what would become the town of Vyksa.
For a while the region accounted for almost 30 percent of the cast-iron production in Europe and western Russia, and it became famous for its beautiful castings. Vyksa was the definition of a monotown—culture