portraits > teriberka
At a distance, Teriberka offers breathtaking views of rolling hills and the ocean, untouched by the contradictions of Russia’s market economy. The nearer we approached Teriberka the more we could see that the homes were not picturesque cottages but instead abandoned and in various stages of decay. There were old bakeries, houses, and what appeared like schools and offices that were rotting in the middle of the village. The occupied homes were themselves in latter stages of deterioration. Walls and roofs were caving in exposing internal structures of buildings like bones of a carcass. The dock was littered with the skeletons of sunken ships. Amidst welcoming comments by Teriberka mayor Valeri Yarantsev we wandered by windy ditch-filled dirt roads alongside a string of ghost houses. The town appeared tragic and poetic, like a modern day Hollywood movie set, such as the thriller Shutter Island with megastar Leonardo DiCaprio. Teriberka resides on the edge of modernity while aiming to be a twenty-first century off-loading site for the postponed Shtokman natural gas field. It is located along the Barents Sea and its history as a fishing village spans several hundred years.