A tractor rally in Belarusian Paris - Belarus photo digest
On 28 January 2017, the Minsk Tractor Works organised a rally called Paris-Mosar. The event was dedicated to the Day of Belarusian Science. Also this year, the Belarusian team Maz-SPORTauta for the first time ever placed 6th in the international rally Paris-Dakar-2016.
Belarus too has its own small Paris - a village in Pastavy district that shares a name with the French capital. Thus, with this geographical quirk in mind, the Minsk Tractor Works decided to make the village the starting point for their own rally.
Eight tractors participated in the race, seven of which were Belarus-3522s, one of the most powerful tractors produced in Belarus, as well as one crawler.
The older Belarusian tractor models are known worldwide for their low price, durability, and easy maintenance. Current models are very similar to their Western counterparts, but cheaper. Nevertheless, these machines remain unaccessible for Belarusian farms.
First of all, they are expensive to maintain. Belarusian tractors often break down, sometimes for absurd reasons: low quality of fuel used at the collective farms, a lack of adequate maintenance, and working culture in general. Therefore, the chairmen of collective farms often demand to use the new tractors at their full capacity during the warranty period, so if something breaks it can be replaced for free.
For these reasons, events like these are organised not so much to demonstrate new tractor models, but rather to improve the image of these high quality machines.
About the photographer: Siarhei Leskiec is a freelance photographer whose work focuses on everyday life, folk traditions, and rituals in the Belarusian countryside. Originally from Maladzeczna Region, he received a history degree from Belarusian State Pedagogical University.