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Motherland [Hardcover]

Simon Roberts , Rosamund Bartlett
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

26 Mar 2007
Photographer Simon Roberts travelled throughout Russia, for a year between July 2004 and August 2005, exploring the idea of the Russian motherland and creating one of the most extensive photographic accounts of this vast country by a Westerner. His images are not clichéd representations of a Russia ground down by poverty and despair; rather, he presents a beautiful and awe-inspiring land, with dignified people empowered by growing optimism. Intimate portraits of contemporary Russians show us a diverse people, united by a common sense of national identity, while breathtaking landscapes reveal the complexity of the country.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Chris Boot (26 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905712030
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905712038
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 24.4 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 327,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By C.W.
Roberts has assembled an incredible and comprehensive record of a mind-boggling journey. His photographs include both landscapes and portraits that manage to convey the enormity of the country and the mood of its people. No mean feat.

The landscapes are beautiful and haunting in turn, but it was the portraits that really left me thinking about the country long after I had put the book down. They are arresting in their brutal honesty and I felt humbled by the proud defiance of the people staring back at me, daring me to question their hopes and dreams. Roberts has captured a mood of optimism and carefully avoided turning the people he has encountered into `subjects'.

This is an awesome book (in the true sense of the word) with such a powerful presence that it will probably get under your skin, making you want to know more about both Roberts and Russia.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This is an outstanding document chronicling Roberts' year-long journey
through Russia. After all those bleak and depressing books about Russia, it's refreshing to see a different vision of the country.
This work is an impressive achievement. The pictures are intimate,
sensitive and carry an extraordinary narrative charge. Highly recommended
for anyone interested in the region or contemporary documentary
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Motherland - a personal journey 14 Aug 2007
What is so striking in this book is the warmth and humanity Simon Roberts has uncovered in all corners of 'Motherland' Russia at a time of unprecedented social change. He gives us invaluable insights into some of the lives he shared in his ambitious, year-long journey and has created a unique 'visual statement' about contemporary Russia.

The resilience and optimism in so many of his subjects shines through, even those living in most straitened and dismal circumstances, though tough realities are everywhere confronted. So many individual portraits remain memorable, even after the book is put down, especially of young Russians, in contrast to the 'babushka' cliches with which the reader may be more familiar.

Succinct text is well integrateed to create an invaluable study for anyone interested in Russia today.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary document 2 July 2007
By Jaybird
Roberts book of images from his journey across Russia contains some ravishing images. But it is when seen as a whole that this book really scores. Mixing portraits with interior and exterior landscapes, photographing individuals, friends and families from different social strata right across this turbulent country, Roberts has really managed to capture a particular moment in history for this country.

The diversity of his subjects reflects the diversity of the country he was exploring. His straightforward framing and unsentimental use of light suit the directness of his subjects, whatever their circumstances.

Highly recommended
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