Photographs from the Fringes of the Former Soviet UnionPhotographs by Jonas Bendiksen
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Satellites: Photographs from the Fringes of the Former Soviet Union is the culmination of Jonas Bendiksen's fascinating seven-year photographic journey through the outlying republics held in orbit by the immense gravity of the Soviet Empire. When it dissolved, in 1991, these satellite states were sent into free space—and uncertain futures. Bendiksen explored six gray areas in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and far eastern Siberia. Many of these outposts are ostensibly state-less states, places where Soviet nostalgia looms large, self-styled brands of capitalism have emerged, where cities are scarred from bloody insurrections, and entire populations have fled in search of better lives. Hauntingly beautiful, these sixty-two arresting color photographs unsentimentally reveal the often grim circumstances in these half-forgotten regions that are uniformly poor and polluted—and often politically unstable. We may not hear much about them today, but we will certainly hear more from them in the near future as the fall of the Iron Curtain continues to reverberate throughout the region. This book was produced to accompany a traveling exhibition, which opened at the Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam.
Jonas Bendiksen (born in Tønsberg, Norway, 1977), a member of Magnum Photos, has received numerous awards, including the 2003 Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography and first prize in the Pictures of the Year International Awards. His photographs have appeared in National Geographic, Geo, Newsweek, and the Sunday Times Magazine, among others. In 2007, the Paris Review received a National Magazine Award for Bendiksen’s project The Places We Live.