Laika, Belka and Strelka are household names around the world, even today. As the first dogs to reach orbit, they are among the martyrs and the saints of communism. Their fate was the embodiment of a utopian consciousness, the ideal of a society that tried to turn a futuristic fairytale into reality. They endured inhumane tests, either giving their lives and becoming posthumous heroes, or surviving to find themselves the darlings of the nation. The lucky ones lived out their days in the laboratory, where those who had lost their teeth would be fed bits of pre-chewed sausage by their devoted attendants. Some were taken home by the scientists as pets in reward for their loyalty and endurance.
The dogs were simultaneously real and fantastical beings. One day they were strays on the street; the next they were in newspapers and on television, and given heroic names. They also became characters in children’s books. Here, they weren’t presented as sly tricksters, like their folkloric predecessors, but neither were they easily fooled simpletons. They gave a new perspective on the allegory of loyalty. The space dog was not just a trusty companion for a lone hero, but crucially, one for all humanity.
Bless who did this.
Fan fiction with fluff: Read in the corner of your bed with all the lights off at midnight while you giggle and blush
Fan fiction with smut: Read in very public places or with family with a perfectly straight face
Photographer Benoit Lapray’s photo series, “The Quest for Absolute" focuses on the loneliness of famous superheroes, set in the beautiful, yet desolate landscape of the French Alps.
Me: ah, yes. Home alone. I can do whatever I want!
Me: *turns TV up a couple notches*
Me: *watches YouTube videos without headphones*
Me: getting crazy up in here