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Dacha: The Soviet Country Cottage

Author/EditorSavintsev, Fyodor (Author)
Benn, Anna (Author)
Murray, Damon (Author)
Sorrell, Stephen (Author)
Publisher: FUEL Publishing
ISBN: 9781916218499
Pub Date07/09/2023
BindingHardback
Pages240
Dimensions (mm)160(h) * 200(w)
€31.88
excluding shipping
Availability: 1 In Stock
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A 'dacha' is a country house, made of wood, used by Soviet citizens to escape the rigors of the city for rural idyll. Widespread in the countries of the former USSR, this important cultural and architectural form has been largely ignored academically. In Dacha Fyodor Savintsev documents this particularly Russian phenomenon, his photographs constitute a unique record of a rapidly vanishing fairytale wooden world.

The word 'dacha' has been used to describe constructions ranging from grand imperial villas to small sheds. Originally bestowed by the Tsar to reward courtiers, this custom continued following the revolution, with Soviet cooperatives building dachas for their members. Supposedly for the benefit of labourers, in reality they were destined for those favoured by the State, including famous writers, architects and artists - from Pasternak to Prokofiev. The fall of the Soviet Union accelerated their use, as economic uncertainty forced city dwellers towards self-sufficiency. The dacha tradition has survived Revolution, war and the collapse of Communism, becoming an integral part of life in the process.

Using contemporary photographs to showcase these uniquely individual buildings for the first time, alongside an introduction explaining their historical and cultural context, Dacha is the only publication of its kind.

A 'dacha' is a country house, made of wood, used by Soviet citizens to escape the rigors of the city for rural idyll. Widespread in the countries of the former USSR, this important cultural and architectural form has been largely ignored academically. In Dacha Fyodor Savintsev documents this particularly Russian phenomenon, his photographs constitute a unique record of a rapidly vanishing fairytale wooden world.

The word 'dacha' has been used to describe constructions ranging from grand imperial villas to small sheds. Originally bestowed by the Tsar to reward courtiers, this custom continued following the revolution, with Soviet cooperatives building dachas for their members. Supposedly for the benefit of labourers, in reality they were destined for those favoured by the State, including famous writers, architects and artists - from Pasternak to Prokofiev. The fall of the Soviet Union accelerated their use, as economic uncertainty forced city dwellers towards self-sufficiency. The dacha tradition has survived Revolution, war and the collapse of Communism, becoming an integral part of life in the process.

Using contemporary photographs to showcase these uniquely individual buildings for the first time, alongside an introduction explaining their historical and cultural context, Dacha is the only publication of its kind.

Fyodor Savintsev was born in 1982 in Moscow. After becoming a professional photographer in 1999, he worked with news agencies such as the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse. He became chief photographer for the ITAR-TASS agency in 2003 until 2006, when he began working on personal photographic projects. As a photographer and documentarian, his projects have been reproduced in some of the world's biggest publications including: GEO, The Times, The Guardian and Le Monde. Since 2015, he has worked exclusively with galleries, developing his personal projects in a genre he calls 'documentary art'. He lives in Moscow. Anna Benn is an author, Russophile and horticulturalist who first travelled to Russia in 1982 as a student at Leningrad university. She is the author of several guide books and co-author with Rosamund Bartlett of Literary Russia, A Guide. Her lifelong interest in literature, gardens and Russia are brought together in the subject of the dacha and its garden which inspired her prize-winning 'Chekhov's Garden' with Hannah Gardner at the Hampton Court Flower Show in 2018. EDITORS: Damon Murray and Stephen Sorrell have been publishing critically acclaimed books on Soviet culture since 2004 with their Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia. More recent titles include Chernobyl; A Stalkers' Guide, Spomenik Monument Database and Soviet Bus Stops.

Historical essay of the dacha. Photographs of dachas and their interiors.

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