The Sochi Project: An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus

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Sochi Project


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NEW YORK - Jan. 9, 2014 - PRLog -- Rob Hornstra and Arnold van Bruggen have been working together since 2009 to tell the story of Sochi, Russia, site of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. They have returned repeatedly to this region as committed practitioners of “slow journalism,” establishing a solid foundation of research on and engagement with this small yet incredibly complicated place before it finds itself in the glare of international media attention.

As Van Bruggen writes, “Never before have the Olympic Games been held in a region that contrasts more strongly with the glamour of the event than Sochi. Just twenty kilometres away is the conflict zone Abkhazia. To the east the Caucasus Mountains stretch into obscure and impoverished republics such as North Ossetia and Chechnya. On the coast, old Soviet-era sanatoria stand shoulder to shoulder with the most expensive hotels and clubs of the Russian Riviera. By 2014 the area around Sochi will have been changed beyond recognition.” Hornstra’s photographic approach combines the best of documentary storytelling with contemporary portraiture, found photographs, and other visual elements collected over the course of their travels.

Since the beginning of their collaboration, The Sochi Project has been released via installments in book form and online, each focusing on a particular facet of the story, the geography, the people, and their history. The highlights and key elements of this extensive effort are brought together for the first time in this volume, designed by Kummer & Herrman, who have been integral to the collaboration from the outset.

The Sochi Project: An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus offers alternative perspectives and in-depth reporting on this remarkable region, the site of the most expensive Olympic Games, and one that sits at the combustible crossroads of war, tourism, and history

To see sample images and spreads from the book, visit

Rob Hornstra (born in Borne, The Netherlands, 1975) is a photographer and self-publisher of slow-form documentary work. In addition to his work on The Sochi Project, he is also the founder and former artistic director of FOTODOK—Space for Documentary Photography. Hornstra is represented by Flatland Gallery, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Arnold Van Bruggen (texts) is a writer and filmmaker. He is the founder of the journalistic production agency Prospektor, and a cofounder, with Hornstra, of The Sochi Project.


The exhibition The Sochi Project combines the best of documentary storytelling in a variety of media, including C-prints, newsprint, video, texts, and books. The exhibition tours to the DePaul Art Museum, Chicago, January–March 2014; Aperture Gallery, New York, May 30-July 10, 2014; CONTACT Photo Festival, Toronto, May–June 2014; and FotoFocus Cincinnati, September–October 2014.

Book details:
91⁄2 x121⁄2 in.(24x30cm)
512 pages, 200 four-color and black-and-white images
Hardcover with jacket
ISBN 978-1-59711-244-4 $80.00/£50.00
November, 2013
Rights: World
Copublished with The Sochi Project

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