R.E.D.

St. Petersburg is called the ‘Russian Venice’ and stands on a wide Neva River delta, as well as on the Gulf of Finland. People love the sights of water and consider them a source of aesthetic pleasure. But the relationship between the St. Petersburg mentality and water lies not only in the visual space.

Neva and the Gulf of Finland feed the city. It’s literally. In warm season, cruise liners from abroad come here, while other guests come by the land and spend huge sums at ‘along the rivers and canals’ excursions. In springtime, the banks of the Neva smell with cucumber – in fact the smell comes from koryushka fish, and mass fishing takes place directly on Neva, in the heart of megapolis.

In the past, the role of rivers and canals was even more important there. I.e., during the reign of Peter the Ist, each family had to have a boat. Earlier, when the banks of the Neva river were inhabited by the Finno-Ugric people, the water was considered sacred – in their cosmogony, the primary universe was born from an endless sea. Them came Russian settlers, some of them Novgorodians (North Russians), who also had lived originally on the water. So the holiness of this element for St. Petersburg goes deep into millennia roots.

Today, the ecology of the Neva, the tributaries and the bay is getting worse every year, and waste emissions, not decreasing in numbers, are everywhere. But is there a catastrophe or just a transformation, just some next step? Nature is the environment that supports our existence.

But how to establish what is nature? All forms of being, living or dead, are a certain matrix. Habitats also consist of living and non-living creatures. River banks and mountains can be made of shells and petrified bacteria. Natural selection implies extinction. Can it be that the new nature will become anthropogenic without killing mankind, can it support our further existence?

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