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The Sochi Project
© Rob Hornstra. Courtesy Flatland Gallery.
Eshera, Abkhazia, 2009
Mikhail Yefremovich Zetunyan (88) has already built his coffin and gravestone. ‘I’m waiting to die,’ Mikhail says. ‘I fought in two world wars. It hasn’t got any better.’

Rob Hornstra »

The Sochi Project

An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus

Exhibition: 25 Oct 2013 – 2 Mar 2014

Fri 25 Oct 19:00

FoMu Photo Museum Antwerp

Waalsekaai 47
2000 Antwerp

+32(0)3-2429300


www.fotomuseum.be

Tue-Sun 10-18

The Sochi Project
© Rob Hornstra. Courtesy Flatland Gallery.
Kuabchara, Abkhazia, 2009
Brothers Zashrikwa (17) and Edrese (14) pose proudly with a Kalashnikov on the sofa in their aunt and uncle’s house. They live in the Kodori Gorge, a remote mountainous region on the border between Abkhazia and Georgia.

The Sochi Project: An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus
Rob Hornstra and Arnold Van Bruggen
25.10.2013 > 02.03.2014

The Winter Olympics in 2014 will be held in the South Russian Sochi. It will be the most expensive Games ever, in a subtropical resort and near the very brutal North Caucasus. Since 2009, photographer Rob Hornstra and author Arnold van Bruggen have worked without interruption on a comprehensive documentary about this controversial conflict area.

The Sochi Project wishes to inform as many people as possible of the people, the country and the turbulent history of this small, but complex region. Topics including corruption, violence, terrorism and tourism are the common themes throughout the project. At regular intervals, finished stories have been released in the form of publications and presentations. This exhibition is the sum total of five years of in-depth, slow-journalism research.

Right from the start in 2009, the funding of The Sochi Project relied on donations from private donors. While Crowdfunding was then unique in Europe, it has since been much imitated.
The Sochi Project does not only receive international attention on account of the unique funding model, it is also amassing numerous international awards. Accordingly, the first annual publication ‘Sanatorium’ received the New York Photo Book Award in early 2010. This was followed by the Dutch Canon Prize, the World Press Photo Award, the Sony World Photography Award and the Magnum Expression Award.

The Sochi Project
© Rob Hornstra. Courtesy Flatland Gallery.
Sochi, Russia, 2009
Each year, Mikhail Pavelivich Karabelnikov (77) from Novokuznetsk makes the approximately 2,000-mile trip to summer in Sochi. During the Soviet era, millions of workers were annually sent to one of these sanatoriums to revive their spirits and strengthen their bodies.

The closing publication ‘The Sochi Project: An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus’, published by Aperture, will be presented during the first major retrospective of The Sochi Project at FoMu in the autumn of 2013.

The exhibition runs until the Winter Olympics in February 2014 and will also stop at the DePaul Art Museum in Chicago, Fotohof in Salzburg, CONTACT Photography Festival in Toronto and Aperture Gallery in New York.
www.thesochiproject.org

The Sochi Project
© Rob Hornstra. Courtesy Flatland Gallery.
Matsesta, Russia, 2009
Young Dima submerges his injured leg under sulphite water at the Matsesta spa, which was established in 1902. The water here supposedly contains a surplus of hydrogen sulphide and has unique medical properties.
The Sochi Project
© Rob Hornstra. Courtesy Flatland Gallery.
Sochi, Russia, 2011
Striptease dancer Aliona waits outside the restaurant in Zhemchuzhina Hotel, while a mediocre singer entertains the audience with Russian chansons. From 11.30, Aliona and six other women take over the dance floor.
The Sochi Project
© Rob Hornstra. Courtesy Flatland Gallery.
Olga, Sochi, Russia, 2012
Olga, 29, is the manager of strip club 'Art Klub' in hotel Zhemchuzhina (Pearl) in the centre of Sochi. She has been dancing since she was 9 years old. She hates it when people don't understand that this is a form of art as well. Her dream is to start a family and have babies, she says. But whatever happens: she will continue dancing.