What do any of us really know about Siberia, other than its cold? Not much— and we’re just about to reinforce the idea. Lake Baikal, located in Siberia, is the deepest and cleanest lake on Earth. Clocking in at an astounding 373 miles deep (!!!), the lake can create 6.5 feet of ice on its surface every winter. This means that people, cars and anything weighing less than 16.5 tons can glide across this majestic lake’s surface without even making a crack. Some intrepid visitors even camp on the surface each winter! Indeed, the natural wonder has become quite the attraction— not only because of the novelty of it but also because deep underneath the ice, cracks and bubbles form to create some truly remarkable designs on the surface. Once April hits, all action has to halt, as the ice begins to melt, sometimes making sharp, cracking noises like gunshots through the vast expanse of land. [h/t boredpanda.com]
The naked human body strikes the audience. Always. After all the years of liberation movements, emancipation and censorship attenuation, it never fails to shock and amuse the viewer… particularly the depiction of a female body, which has been a center of controversy for years. While in the past it was banned, nowadays it remains among the delicate topics in art that somehow still manages to perturbate society.The work of Kristina Podobed thrives off this dynamic.
The Ukrainian-based photographer started her journey as a personal struggle with shyness. She took photos of her friends and herself, gradually realizing that there is much more that has to be said. Her images allow imperfections and silliness, she portrays girlhood with the unprejudiced eye of the insider. Being open to the world, to come as you are – this struggle is real, especially in the modern media-influenced society. Kristina Podobed shifted her focus towards more broad, but not less important topics turning her art into a kind of social mirror.
Youthful and intimate pictures of girls deconstruct the conventional vision of women, obligated to look modest, nice, and polished. Pushing the boundaries of the “acceptable” depiction of women, Podobed is not shy about any aspect of human physicality and nature. Her pictures were banned from social medias numerous times, which just proves the relevance of the issue to the world we live in today. This discourse is especially pertinent when taking into account artist’s Eastern Europe origins. In the post-soviet reality women are still under the influence of the past ideology, which tells them to be quite, neat, and to keep it to herself. But nowadays, the youth is changing, shaping the future of the whole country. Kristina Podobed reflects these transformations, presenting the world with the new generation which is trying to be brutally honest and free.
Ms Podobed continues her artistic pursuits, concentrating on the social photography, depicting people and their environment. Coming back to the point of controversy linked to the depiction of female body, we can say that it is closely related to artificial notion in our heads, that had been embedded a long time ago. We are surrounded by the turmoil of distorted images produced by glamor magazines and advertisements; we bear the heritage of the patriarchal social order which has ruled the world for ages. No wonder it is hard to deconstruct such deeply rooted stereotypes, which were supposed to disappear under the equality and feminism, but in reality are still fueled by another value systems. Photographers like Kristina Podobed help reclaiming the women’s body giving fresh and truthful ideas of self-identity to the upcoming generations. This is how the future is done in the world of art.
Sure, when you’re expanding a huge quarry, you’re going to expect some surprises hidden in the mass of rocks. Maybe some bird bones, a lost shoe or some relic of past construction work. What you’re probably not expecting to find, however, is over 5,000 dinosaur footprint embedded in the stone. But that’s just what workers found in a cement plant in Sucre, Bolivia. Those on site uncovered a 4,000 foot long and 262 foot high wall of limestone with with the unreal footprints set inside; in fact, it’s now known as the site of the largest concentration of dinosaur tracks in the entire world. Cal Orcko, as the quarry site is called, used to be the shore of a lake, so many centuries ago during the Cretaceous period. It’s this coveted water source that brought both herbaceous and carnivorous dinosaurs to the area for nourishment. During the warmer months, the earth surrounding the lake would get damp and pliable; when the animals stepped to the shoreline to drink from the lake, they’d sink into the ground and leave their footprints behind which became solid during long periods of drought. During yet another period of wet weather, the dried footprints got sealed underneath the latest, wet layer. A huge tectonic movement shifted the limestone slab to the upright position it is in today. Over 460 individual trails were made during this process, the first of which were discovered by miners in 1985. It wasn’t until 1994, however, that the site’s archeological importance was solidified (pun intended) when Swiss paleontologist Christian Meyer and his team certified the bed as legitimate. Meyer is quoted as saying that the site documents “the high diversity of dinosaurs better than any other site in the world,” and stresses the importance the highly preserved footprints have on paleontology and the understanding of the history of the earth in general. It comes as no surprise that Meyer’s subsequent study of the prints reveals much more than just the shape of the dino’s feet. In some places, you can see tiny baby feet between two lines of bigger footprints, showing that parents would protect their offspring by having them walk underneath them, shielding the young with their size. Of course, the most popular set of footprints belongs to a baby Tyrannosaurs Rex, whom researchers have dubbed “Johnny Walker” and whose 1,128 long set of footprints delight all visitors to the sit. To keep the original site and its incredible findings safe while simultaneously showing it off, a Cretaceous Park opened in 2006 which provides tourists the chance to view exact replicas of the dinosaurs who also visited the site, along with a museum and a viewing platform to see the rock face. [sources: Amusing Planet]