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Who Knew Photos From Soviet-Era Russia Could Look So Happy?

It would be difficult to guess Sergey Chilikov’s photographs are a product of repressive, Soviet-era Russia. Sergey Chilikov: Selected Works 1978–, published by Schilt Publishing at the end of 2011 is brimming with Chilikov’s relatively unknown work covering the span of his career, from the 1970s through the late 2000s.

The book’s introduction describes the bleak place photography held in Soviet Russia during the 1970s. During that period, photography wasn’t given credence as a legitimate art form and even classic Soviet photography wasn’t included in museum exhibitions. In order to get their work seen, photographers started their own clubs, exchanging work with other clubs and organizing their own exhibitions and festivals, and thereby creating a community that supported photography as a legitimate art form.

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Left: From the Everyday cycle, Chorus girls series, Cheboksary, 1995. Right: From the Everyday cycle, Before the storm, Kundysh, 1994.



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