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CloseUpRussia is a photography Program created by independent documentary photographers from Russia.
The aim of our joint work is to show life of our contemporaries, people who live on the vast territory of Russian Federation.
Our authors participated in such successful long-term photographic projects as “From White to the Black Sea” and “Invisible cities“, and continue to work on their own independent projects related to visual documentation of life in the regions of the Russian Federation.
A key goal is the documentation of everyday life of the country, as well as the systematization and archiving of all the material received, both in digital and printed form.
A two-year sailing documentary photography expedition from White Sea to Black Sea through rivers, lakes and canals of Russia.
INVISIBLE CITIES is a collective documentary project made by a group of independent photographers. The project is dedicated to examination of Russian monogoroda (mono – single, gorod – town/city) phenomenon. Such places include the most part of Russian industrial province. According to official data around 16 mln people live in monogoroda. All these cities were established in different eras of Russian history, but after USSR break up all of them faced same difficulties. During Soviet times the reward for hard work and inconviniet location was the possibility to be proud of labour in the name of the country wealth. What is this reward nowadays?

Starting with Alexander Rodchenko the reality of industrial province was a propaganda material praising the New Order. After the USSR break up vast territories of Russia became excluded from the media-field, thus ‘invisible’. Social and economic turmoil was the only way for these cities to gain media-visibility. That is why the stereotypical view of monogorod is rather dull and depressive. However, the reality is much more complex than stereotypes.

The aim of the project is not just plain overview of economical or social problems – it is concentrated on study of visual environment, human relations, relations between townsmen and surrounding reality. Expanding on their personal experience of submerging down monogoroda reality, presenting stories of people living there, authors encourage the viewer to look beyond expected monotony to see rich reality.