Devyatkino is the northernmost stop of the Saint Petersburg Metro system—and formerly, of the world.At each stop the car unloads more people than it takes on. The station doors burst open into a misty wind. Travelers, loggers, and truck drivers pass through at all times of day. Like the taxis and subway train, Devyatkino is always ready. By the seventh or eighth stop, it is clear who among the initial herd will be riding the train to the end of the line. Beyond the buses and trains, Devyatkino becomes a quiet bedside community. After work or errands in the city, a commuter’s walk is just five minutes from train to apartment.Back at the station, evening rush hour begins. The cool air thickens and so does the crowd. Inside the train, shoulders are wedged among shoulders and bodies breathe the same sticky air, but no eyes make contact.

Moments of Passage and Peace 

Devyatkino is a place of transfer. Where the metro ends, passengers proceed to the commuter rail, bus station or one of many lingering taxis. High-heeled women click by, en route to a business meeting or perhaps their home in one of Devyatkino’s nearby suburbs; older couples wait for a bus to their dachas in the countryside...

This photo essay was created by Alison Graham, 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.

An educational initiative of the Institute for Global Leadership supported by Carnegie Corporation of New York, the program teaches students to shape important global issues into penetrating, multimedia narratives. Its mission is to promote documentary work that cultivates progressive change by amplifying relevant voices, breaking down barriers to understanding, advancing human dignity, and highlighting social injustices.