Nevsky Prospekt

This photo essay was created by Zara Juneja, a student in the Program for Narrative and Documentary Practice at Tufts University, which took 11 students to St. Petersburg, Russia to explore the country up-close. The stories and photographs they brought home focused on the cultural, the social, and the sense of place. The workshop was led by award-winning photographer Samuel James.

“There is nothing finer than Nevsky Prospekt, not in Petersburg anyway:  it is the making of the city…

Oh, do not trust that Nevsky Prospekt!… Everything breathes deception.  It deceives at all hours, the Nevsky Prospekt does, but most of all when night falls… when the devil himself lights the street lamps to show everything in false colors.” 

-- from Nikolai Gogol’s “Nevsky Prospekt”

Perhaps the most famous road in Russia, Nevsky Prospekt has been the pulsing heart of this historic city for more than 300 years.  Designed by Peter the Great, the avenue extens from the Admiralty in the north all the way to the Alexander Nevsky Monastery. It is strung together by history, energy, intensity… it is at once a whirlwind of the old and the new, the aged and the young, the grand and the mundane. 

On a daily basis it brings together the city’s many citizens and visitors in a mixed tableau at once Russian and universal.