Lenin Watches Over Russia
From Plazas Across The Nation
Superheroes in flapping capes have come and gone but this formidable one continues to hang out in plazas across the nation. Plazas in most urban places across the Russian nation, that is.
Most sizeable Russian towns and cites have statuary Vladmir Lenin (Red Square, Moscow has the real thing on display at the Lenin Mausoleum) hanging out in public gathering places. Although he varies physically from place to place, the Lenin mental image is aloof, monolithic, captivating and unambiguous. It is difficult to avoid his omnipresent gaze. Wide, open plazas that were constructed for one-way dialogue to the people are more than ever a solitary tribute to lonely Lenin, now sterile and lacking in humanity except for a few skateboarders. No one gazes in awe, everyone knows he is there.
Lenin had a top down approach and, if you knew nothing about him, the statuary tells all. Nearly a century has passed since he died (1924), yet he still looks over the Russian people, sometimes larger than life. Only the birds have a more enviable view, leaving their obvious calling card, but not for long, Lenin remains pristine in death. No antiquarian mold is growing on this important world figure. Locals walking about town, whether in Mother Moscow or Irkutsk, Siberia, can't avoid the gaze. Like many super-heroic figures he wears a whippy, super hero cape, adding surreal drama to his mythic, albeit brooding figure. From champion of the working class to dictator and human rights persecutor his reputation has been the subject of squabbles over the decades. Nonetheless Lenin remains.