When you’re thinking of “extreme selfies” you may think that nobody would really be stupid enough to do anything overly ridiculous. Well, in Russia it seems “too far” isn’t far enough. Some young Russians will go out of their way to do the most ridiculous things all for the sake of catching it on camera. It’s a trend that has been around for a while and it doesn’t seem to be going away.
You’ll probably have seen videos on YouTube of extreme climbers with no harnesses, scaling some of the highest buildings with a GoPro strapped to their head. Seems crazy, right? They look like they know what they’re doing so you don’t really question it, but a lot of young people – some teenagers – lose their lives trying to attempt these “stunts”.
There must be something quite wrong with Russia’s youth if the only thing they can think to do in their spare time is risk their lives in such an extreme manner. The man in the video above is 23-year-old Alexander Chernikov. To us it looks like he’s completely lost the plot, but he seems to have his reasons as to why he carried out this stunt in the first place.
Alexander lives on the outskirts of Barnaul – 4000km east of Moscow. He essentially lives in the middle of nowhere, so there’s not much for him apart from local factory work. Not much fun for somebody that aspires to take up a stunt-man career. Since Alexander’s fiery stunt went viral he’s been invited onto Russian TV shows and a film director even promising him a screen test at some point. His courageous, yet arguably stupid performance may well have paid off. If not, then at least he has something for his portfolio to show other “employers”.
Another young Russian that has a keen interest for extreme selfies is Angela Nikolau. Daughter to a circus trapezium artist, Angela has more than 400,000 followers on Instagram, as well as travel firms, fashion brands, and camera companies sponsoring her. She is often applauded for her epic yet dangerous stunts, despite technically trespassing in some cases. Seems unfair towards Alexander, who receives nothing but criticism.
Angela doesn’t just climb buildings and take casual, yet extreme selfies of herself, she will often perform a yoga back-bend on a narrow ledge, or a ballerina’s arabesque on a turret. Enough to make you feel uncomfortable, especially if you’re scared of heights.
“Sometimes I just climb up a building without a camera just to see a colourful sunrise or sunset,
But if you are asking why I film myself, imagine an artist painting all alone in his studio – painting, painting, painting for five years until he is practically drowning in his own work. And he thinks who am I doing this for – is there any point in my work? We need an audience – that is just part of the human condition.”
Do you think we should let these people be as they are? Or do you think it sets a bad example to easily influenced “amateurs”? Maybe a skypscraper window cleaning career is something they should look into, if they love heights so much.