Fotograf Magazine

Rob Hornstra & Arnold Van Bruggen

A Box Full of Phantom States, Eastern Excess and Love of Homeland

The Sochi Project is almost as ungraspable as the North Caucasus that it describes. A documentary-reportage epic by Rob Hornstra and Arnold van Bruggen, seven years in the making, features an interactive website, several books, a wealth of images and solid text. It’s less about Sochi and the Olympics than about how a piece of land beyond the fragmented scope of mainstream media manages to get by in the face of globalization directed by Putin’s Russia. How despite horrific terrorist attacks, the region manages to sustain its distinct beauty. But my characterization isn’t spot on, either. The Sochi Project is an epic inverted. Instead of big heroes and large tales, it’s about local people and their memories.

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#33 investigation

These practical details show what it is like to live in a state recognized only by five  other countries in the world. Abkhazia, being a non-existent entity since 1991, does not have  its own postal service. Nevertheless, you will find an Abkhazian post office there, headed by  72-year-old Eduard Konstantinovich Pilija.
The kitchen in the Metallurg sanatorium, Sochi, 2009.

#33 investigation


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