Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Even the Chechens, who lived right next door and had been decimated by a forced exile, had a real city: Grozny had fashion and music. It was from Grozny that young men would bring records and reel-to-reel tapes for Makhachkala's first diskotekas -- a fancy word for dances -- in the early 1980s. To create disco lighting, the young men stole coloured glass from traffic lights and, at great peril to themselves, flashing lights off police cars. In Grozny, young men were not too timid to wear pointy cowboy boots, which had roared into fashion; Makhachkalinians, who did not dare wear them, called them nokhchi-boots, or Chechen-boots.

- The Brothers, Masha Gessen