I recently spent a couple of nights going through Wonderland: A Fairy Tale of the Soviet Monolith by Jason Eskenazi.
This is the best books of photographs I’ve viewed in some time.
The photographs were made between 1992-2001, in many of the former Soviet states – Moldova, Tajikstan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Chechnya, etc…
The style is standard photographic reportage, but the book retains a wonderful vitality.
Unlike many photographers who approach this subject/region – see Winterreise by Luc Delahaye or Case History by Boris Mikhailov, both great books – Eskenazi views his subjects with great sensitivity and compassion, rather than brooding on the extremes of poverty and depravity found in these other books.
The sequencing of these photographs is exceptional, and does much to create the complicated layers of love, confusion, history, and dysfunction of these states and the decline of the Soviet Union.
I found these pictures quite inspiring, and began to wonder if perhaps I should really invest more in trying to develop a larger body of photographs made across the Indonesian archipelago.