Moscow Archive


The Thirst to Become

The Thirst to Become – food for thought during confinement. Few people know the ‘Russian Socrates’, the Georgian philosopher Merab Mamardashvili (1930-1990). Merab was born in Gori, Georgia. He called his teaching ‘Socratic’ in the sense that it was composed of dialogues. In his life only a few books were published, his lectures (for his style of lecturing he and others called them “conversations” or “dialogues”) were taped and published after his death. One of his teachings focused on the thought that life was in the self-realization and “in fulfillment of oneself as a human being”, that is the fulfillment of the possibilities of one’s character or personality. Some of the most known phrases coined by Mamardashvili are: “consciousness is an experience of inexperiensible experiences”, “phenomenology is the accompanying feature of all the philosophy”, “loneliness is my profession” and so on. I recently came across a short video in which Mamardashvili tells about the Thirst to Become, and about the self-realization “What have I undertaken in order to be born in thought, to become a human being?” which I found particularly interesting during this long period of confinement To watch the video the Thirst to become with English sub-titles


The Gourji Red Fashion Collection

Gourji – is a new Russian brand on the luxury goods market. It is unique and has no analogues. The philosophy and style of the Gourji brand are inextricably linked with the history of Russia. The brand takes a fresh look at the Eurasian cultural and historical context in which Russia is a melting pot of hundreds of cultures. The basic idea of ​​the Gourji brand – is to identify the brightest features of the artistic heritage of the past and present it in a contemporary way. The initiator of the project Dmitri Gourji – “a man of the world”, toured dozens of countries. An intellectual and romantic, a successful businessman, a collector, a man of varied interests. His passion about the country’s history and theories of the Eurasian states, Eurasian culture has prompted the idea of creating his own brand. “No matter what was the ideology of the country,” Dmitri explained to me during our meeting, “each epoch left behind its art and literature which are a part of our history and which we should not forget. It is what I call ‘a business card of the epoch.’ What’s important,” he continued sipping his coffee, “is not to forget this history and learn from it.” The Pen ‘Above the Saviour Tower’ evokes the main tower on the eastern wall of the  Kremlin which overlooks Red Square. Build in 1491 it was once the main enrance into the Kremlin. The earrings ‘Red Stars‘ (18K white gold & 12 rubies) bring […]


Unpublished Mother Loss Memoir

28.04.2020 Posted in Red Lifestyle, Red Writing No Comments

To see the previous post My Mother Paola Volkova – Unpublished Mother Loss Memoir Part 3 March 13, 2013 On the day of your funeral a few men came to see my husband. They told him that they were the last love of your life. There were 3 or 4 of them. All were persuaded that it was true. August 24, 2013 When I went back to Moscow for the last time to empty your apartment, the first thing I saw upon entering was a stack of letters addressed to you. There were holiday greetings and announcements of events in the cinema and literary clubs to which you belonged. I left them on your dining table as if you might read them anytime soon. A few days later the phone rang. A woman called from the RTR, the 1st TV Channel. She wanted to ask you to participate in a talk show about Ludmila Gurchenko, a famous Soviet TV star. I told them you had died. They kept apologizing, saying that they did not know, how they had missed the news that you were gone. I thought it was your way of communicating with me while I was in the apartment. One of the gzhel boxes you had at home, the one which has a lid in the shape of an officer lying on a sofa, had keys in it. There were about a dozen of them. There were of all sorts of shapes and colors. Some were marked with […]


My Mother Paola Volkova -Unpublished Mother Loss Memoir

To see the previous post My Mother Paola Volkova -Unpublished Mother Loss Memoir Part 2 May 3, 2013 The first few months after your death I spent in a fog. I did not notice the people around me. I stopped wearing a watch. Time had no meaning. All I knew was when the alarm went off in the morning, I had to get up to go to work. The clock on the PC in my office informed me that it was time to go back home. At work I forced myself to note down urgent tasks to do for the day and made myself do them. Otherwise I could easily spend the entire day surrounded by a fog, a thick white smoke. I saw nothing beyond it. Back home in the evening, I bought cold chicken and readymade salads for dinner until my husband politely pointed out to me that we had been eating the same food every day for the last few weeks. May 21, 2013 I’m jealous when I see mothers with their daughters on the streets. It makes me think that I will never be able to go with you for a coffee or a movie. Help you to sit down or put your coat on. I also think how happy they must be together. June 18, 2013 When I have first realized that I could not remember your face, I was so embarrassed that I could not admit it even to myself. I could remember your […]


My Mother : Paola Volkova – Unpublished Mother Loss Memoir

7.04.2020 Posted in Red Art, Red History, Red Writing No Comments

My Mother : Paola Volkova – Unpublished Mother Loss Memoir Part 1 15 March 2014 Dearest Mom, today is the first anniversary of your death. In the Orthodox religion this date has something to do with the soul finally reaching its final destination. A pivotal moment for your future. Family and friends get together to mark this moment together with the deceased. They will meet in Moscow. I decided that I would not attend. I would stay at home in Paris. I woke up early this morning to spend the whole day with you. From my window I saw the first rays of the rising sun over Sacré Coeur basilica. How to explain my decision not to come? I used the pretext of having too much work to do. The family has probably found my excuse disrespectful. But I could not face going there, to smile and talk. I could not even look at your pictures. ***** Most of all I miss that tenderly-sarcastic look in your blue eyes. It is far away. Somewhere in the skies. Sociable as you were, by now you must have met most of your friends – the poet and screenwriter Tonino Guerra, film directors Andrey Tarkovski and Theodore Angelopoulos, and those you would have liked to have met while you were here – painters Giotto di Bondone, Sandro Botticelli and Kasimir Malevich – to discuss with them the indefinable mystery of great works of art. ****** Your death was unexpected. You were 82. I […]


Five Red Things to do in Moscow

24.09.2013 Posted in Red Travel No Comments

I spent the last week of August in Moscow. This time I visited my hometown with my husband’s family from Paris who decided to spend a part of their vacation in the capital of Russia. Moscow is a city going through a perpetual change. Every time I set foot in the city limits, I keep discovering new places to see, restaurants to go to and events to attend. Here are the best Five Red things to do in Moscow:   Red Square. If you have time – visit the Kremlin and its Treasury, which exhibits the Romanov Crown Jewels, including a collection of diamonds, Faberge Imperial Eggs, and the Imperial Crown of Russia decorated with large red spinel weighing 398.752 carats. If not, have a creamy raspberry Russian ice cream marozhnoye (one of my American friends remarked that it is made with 8% cream, whereas American whole milk is only 4% cream) on one the terraces of the GOUM coffee shops with a view of St Basil’s Cathedral.     Metro.  Visit the Metro with its Crystal chandeliers, molded ceilings and marble statues. One of the most beautiful stations is Kievskaya, on the Circle line, with magnificent 1950 mosaics depicting scenes from Soviet history.   The Flea Market is a bit away from the centre. It can be easily reached by metro – get off at the Partizanskaya station and follow the crowd. The market has a large selection of Soviet memorabilia, wooden black Palekh boxes (miniature painted boxes made in the Palekh region) […]