Heidi Hollinger, in a photographic tour-de-force, has captured the spirit of the Russian people as they adjust to their new freedoms. Her sympathetic portraits reveal how some "e;emerging"e; Russians relish their new opportunities while others, rooted in the past, struggle to survive in their changing world. The wide-ranging collection in this sumptuous volume includes images of workers, entertainers, artists, military officers, religious leaders, cosmonauts, Stalin's great-grandson, and Lenin's niece, among others. Accompanying the portraits is a fascinating text by Jonathan Sanders, who provides insight about the people of modern Russia and Hollinger's importance in documenting them during this intriguing, troubled era.
For nearly a decade, Hollinger has lived in Russia, at first as a visitor and gradually as an insider, gaining access to such high-profile politicians as Mikhail Gorbachev and Vladimir Putin, as well as other top-echelon personalities. At the same time she explored Moscow's lower depths: mounted on in-line skates and armed with mace, she invited typical Russians to her studio to pose for a portrait. Her "e;working folk"e; images are in the tradition of pre-Revolutionary masters, who also wandered through the streets in search of representative faces to photograph.