Other Russias

Photo from a Siberian small town

I am quite interested in Russian literature and have reviewed a few Russian novels on this blog before. However, all of them have been classics, modern Russian literature has largely remained a blank spot in my reading. I was therefore intrigued when I stumbled upon Other Russias, Victoria Lomasko‘s graphic reportage from modern Russia.

In the book we follow Lomasko as she draws juvenile prisoners, modern slaves, prostitutes and village children. She also draws during the Pussy Riot trial, a LGBT film festival and various protest rallies. The book consists of her pen drawings of the people she meets combined with quotes from the people she’s drawn and her own commentary. Generally drawn on-site the drawings range vary from quick sketches to somewhat more elaborate designs.

Lomasko is an artist, not a journalist, and her book is thus not a pure journalistic reportage trying to find the truth on specific topics. Instead she lends us her eyes as she explores and portraits various parts of Russia. It is thus not trying to be anything but a story of modern Russia as seen by Lomasko herself. Such an approach may be more subjective and biased but it is so openly which I appreciate. The fact that she is interested in portraying “invisible” people and social activists ensures a broader relevance of her work.

I found the book most relevant when it covered less newsworthy topics. I can find plenty of descriptions of the Pussy Riot trial elsewhere but many of the people she portraits I could have met nowhere else. All in all I found it very interesting.

An interview with Victoria Lomasko can be found here.



4 thoughts on “Other Russias

  1. This sounds really interesting, I don’t know anything really about modern Russian books, so thank you for sharing 💕

    Liked by 1 person

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