Vladimir Syomin

Vladimir Syominm, Kiev near Kiev – Pecherskaya Lavra, September 1997

Vladimir Syomin, Village Krupets, Kursk Region, Russia, October 1996

Vladimir Syomin, Frozen birds after storm, Novorossiysk City, Krasnodar Territory, Russia, December 1997

Vladimir Syomin, “Work,” Timashevsk, Krasnodar Territory, Russia, October 1997

Until the early 1990s, a very limited number of Russian photographers were known outside of their country. The fall of the Iron Curtain and the disintegration of the Soviet Union meant a radical change. For the first time in almost a century, the work of Russian photographers became more accessible and consequently sparked the interest of the West. During the international photo festival InterFoto in Moscow in 1995, Vladimir Syomin caught the attention of New York Times picture editor Kathy Ryan. Six months later Syomin was awarded the prestigious W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography and received the second prize in World Press Photo’s Daily Life category that same year. Commenting on his own work, Mr. Syomin said: “I shoot photographs about the Russia that is beyond the fringes of our television civilization. It is a Russia isolated by destroyed roads and vast woods. In this Russia, villages are ruined, the roads are muddy trails and people don’t feel a sense of hope.”

About claartjevandijk

Assistant Curator, Collections at the International Center of Photography, New York
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