Potemkin villages by Gregor Sailer – These are fake towns

Last updated

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Car manufacturers test vehicle safety at Carson City in Vargarda, Sweden

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Car manufacturers test vehicle safety at Carson City in Vårgårda, Sweden

Published on: Saturday September 28, 2019

Last updated

Introduction

Gregor Sailer is an Austrian photographer born in 1980. He is known the world over for his architectural photographs. His most remarkable work is the Potemkin Village in which he pairs together a couple of ‘fakes’ to create cities and towns.

Gregor was educated in Austria and Germany where he specialized in architectural photography. Since 2005, he has been living and working in Tyrol, Austria. He has traveled to many destinations in the world, taking pictures of the architecture in those place. His vast collection of photos is what has enabled him to come up with works like the Potemkin Village.

The Potemkin Village

This book is a collection of photos which have come to be regarded as ‘fake cities’. These are photos of towns in different locations in the world and the outstanding buildings in those areas as well. Gregor has collected this together to come up with a revolutionary collection that speaks of the political faced in the modern-day world.

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Junction City VII, Fort Irwin, US Army, Mojave Desert, California, USA, 2016

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Junction City VII, Fort Irwin, US Army, Mojave Desert, California, USA, 2016

Why were Potemkin villages created?

His collection is inspired by Field Marshal Potemkin1, a crony of the Russian empress, Catherine the Great. Potemkin is said to have asked that there be painted large boards along the trail that Catherine would traverse the country. These boards were meant to present a near-perfect illusion that would represent flourishing villages. In essence, though, this was meant to mask the fact that there was rampant under development and misery in those areas.

Gregor, having observed how the political scene is filled which such kind of façade also, started working on his collection. He visited destinations in Russia, Europe, and the USA as well. He was particularly interested in Russia because of an incident in 2013. President Putin was visiting a town in Russia, which was on a downward trend in terms of real estate occupancy. It is said that the administration in these towns used boards inside the buildings to create the illusion of residency.

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - The town of Suzdal, Russia, camouflaged dilapidated buildings ahead of a 2013 visit by Vladimir Putin

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
The town of Suzdal, Russia, camouflaged dilapidated buildings ahead of a 2013 visit by Vladimir Putin

Conclusion

Whether President Putin realized this and worked on it, remains largely unknown. But one man was inspired by this, and it led to his endless efforts at coming up with a photo collection that would speak of these façade and brainwashing by governments and politicians. Gregor’s work resonates with many people that have been victims of oppressive political regimes. His book can be bought online on many of the e-commerce sites. It is available in both electronic versions and hard copies.

Photos

China
Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - German Town V, Anting, China, 2016

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
German Town V, Anting, China, 2016

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - German Town VI, Anting, China, 2016

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
German Town VI, Anting, China, 2016

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Holland Town I, Gaoqiao New Town, China, 2016

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Holland Town I, Gaoqiao New Town, China, 2016

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Holland Town VI, Gaoqiao New Town, China, 2016

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Holland Town VI, Gaoqiao New Town, China, 2016

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Luodian New Town outside Shanghai, China recalls the urban landscape of Sweden

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Luodian New Town outside Shanghai, China recalls the urban landscape of Sweden

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Thames Town in China is the spitting image of an English town

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Thames Town in China is the spitting image of an English town

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - This English-looking church in Thames Town V, Songjiang, China, is a copycat of a similar building in Bristol, 2016

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
This English-looking church in Thames Town V, Songjiang, China, is a copycat of a similar building in Bristol, 2016

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village

England
Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Eastmere, Stanford Training Area, British Army, Norfolk, England, 2015.

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Eastmere, Stanford Training Area, British Army, Norfolk, England, 2015

France
Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Beausejour is an urban warfare training site at Camp de Sissonne in France

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Beauséjour is an urban warfare training site at Camp de Sissonne in France

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Camp de Sissonne has been used by the French army since the late 1800s

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Camp de Sissonne has been used by the French army since the late 1800s

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Jeoffrecourt at Camp de Sissonne is used to train the French military

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Jeoffrécourt at Camp de Sissonne is used to train the French military

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Jeoffrecourt is an urban combat training site at Camp de Sissonne

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Jeoffrécourt is an urban combat training site at Camp de Sissonne

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Jeoffrecourt, French Army, France, 2015

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Jeoffrécourt, French Army, France, 2015

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - The French Army conducts urban warfare training at the Complexe de Tir en Zone UrBaine at Camp de Sissonne, France

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
The French Army conducts urban warfare training at the Complexe de Tir en Zone UrBaine at Camp de Sissonne, France

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - The French Army trains its military for urban warfare at the Complexe de Tir en Zone UrBaine

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
The French Army trains its military for urban warfare at the Complexe de Tir en Zone UrBaine

Germany
Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Schnoeggersburg IX, German Army Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, 2017

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Schnöggersburg IX, German Army Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, 2017

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Schnoeggersburg VII, German Army Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Schnöggersburg VII, German Army Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Schnoeggersburg X, German Army Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, 2017

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Schnöggersburg X, German Army Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, 2017

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - The train track at this station lead nowhere, Schnoeggersburg, Germany

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
The train track at this station lead nowhere, Schnöggersburg, Germany

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - This fake town in Germany is used as a military training base

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
This fake town in Germany is used as a military training base

Russia
Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Ufa II, Bashkortostan, Russia, 2016

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Ufa II, Bashkortostan, Russia, 2016

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Ufa IV, Bashkortostan, Russia, 2016

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Ufa IV, Bashkortostan, Russia, 2016

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia, Officials of this town masked forlorn buildings for a BRICS summit in 2015

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia, Officials of this town masked forlorn buildings for a BRICS summit in 2015

Sweden
Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Astazero - The Volvo testing facility in Sweden

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Astazero – The Volvo testing facility in Sweden

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Carson City VII:Vargarda, Sweden, 2016

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Carson City VII/Vårgårda, Sweden, 2016

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - New York delis, beauty salons and other shops line the streets of the AstaZero proving ground in Sandhult, Sweden

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
New York delis, beauty salons and other shops line the streets of the AstaZero proving ground in Sandhult, Sweden

USA
Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Buildings rise in the Mojave desert at Alligator Junction, a fake town for simulating urban warefare at Fort Irwin

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Buildings rise in the Mojave desert at Alligator Junction, a fake town for simulating urban warefare at Fort Irwin

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Fake buildings form a Middle Eastern town at Junction City, Fort Irwin in the Mojave Desert. The city is used for army training

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Fake buildings form a Middle Eastern town at Junction City, Fort Irwin in the Mojave Desert. The city is used for army training

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Tiefort City is a fake town at Fort Irwin in the Mojave Desert

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Tiefort City is a fake town at Fort Irwin in the Mojave Desert

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Junction City, at Fort Irwin in California is used to train soldiers heading to the Middle East

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Junction City, at Fort Irwin in California is used to train soldiers heading to the Middle East

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Junction City X, Fort Irwin, US Army, Mojave Desert, California, USA, 2016

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Junction City X, Fort Irwin, US Army, Mojave Desert, California, USA, 2016

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Junction City IV, Fort Irwin, U.S. Army, Mojave Desert, California, U.S.A., 2016

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Junction City IV, Fort Irwin, U.S. Army, Mojave Desert, California, U.S.A., 2016

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Tiefort City XVI, Fort Irwin, US Army, Mojave Desert, California, USA, 2016

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Tiefort City XVI, Fort Irwin, US Army, Mojave Desert, California, USA, 2016

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - US troops train at Junction City, Fort Irwin ahead of deployment abroad

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
US troops train at Junction City, Fort Irwin ahead of deployment abroad

Gregor Sailer - The Potemkin Village - Tiefort City, Fort Irwin, US Army, Mojave Desert, California, USA, 2016

Gregor Sailer – The Potemkin Village
Tiefort City, Fort Irwin, US Army, Mojave Desert, California, USA, 2016

All images by Gregor Sailer/gregorsailer.com

Related readings
  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grigory_Potemkin
Discover more ..
Support us Want to support us? Want to see less ads? Be part of our fully independent operation and support us with a donation. We are a fully independent operation. One hundred percent of our editorial content is specifically commissioned. Contributions can be made with PayPal or by credit card.

Support us

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*


Stay in touch

We would love to keep the conversation going.

Please join us on Pinterest, YouTube or Instagram.

Want inspiration in your inbox?