The Unknown selected amongst Volkskrant beste fotoboeken van 2022
I feel incredibly honored that The Unknown - Russia 2003 has been included by de Volkskrant in the selection of ten best Dutch photobooks of 2022.
De Volkskrant: “Nothing is intact in the photographs taken by a young Rob Hornstra in 2003 in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, in the southern Urals. Hornstra, now 47 and awarded documentary photographer, was there for his graduation project from the Utrecht Art Academy. He had been advised to portray as many people as possible during his trip. […] The flash-lit portraits show every detail, every scar, but also the refinement, grace, authenticity and beauty of the Russians met by Hornstra. With him, we wonder: what has happened to them, twenty years later?”
Waar kan ik 'The Unknown - Russia 2003' kopen?
In Nederland kan je momenteel bij deze boekhandels/museumshops een exemplaar van The Unknown - Russia 2003 aanschaffen:
- Amsterdam, FOAM
- Amsterdam, Huis Marseille
- Den Haag, Kunstmuseum Den Haag
- Rotterdam, Nederlands Fotomuseum
- Utrecht, Centraal Museum
- Utrecht, De Utrechtse Boekenbar
Presale new book The Unknown
Today marks the presale of my new book The Unknown - Russia 2003. Pre-sales are an indispensable part of financing my books. As a thank you for your trust, your name will be mentioned in the book. Additionally, the first hundred buyers will receive a numbered and signed copy [Update 02.10.2022: Numbered copies sold out].
The Unknown presents previously unseen portraits taken in 2003 as part of my graduation project. I travelled through the Russian province of Chelyabinsk to do something about the first generation of Russians growing up after the collapse of communism. One month later I came home with 1,148 medium- and large-format negatives. The majority of these are portraits of people I met during my wanderings through the provincial capital and surrounding villages.
For my book Communism & Cowgirls (2004), I mainly selected personal images that I took in people’s homes. The chance encounters on the street remained untouched in my negative folders for years.
Two decades later, I look back at those encounters with amazement. How are these people faring in today’s Russia, which has changed so dramatically since we met? The liberty that I, as a foreign photographer, had to capture random people on the street has disappeared. The developments that have taken place since my first trip to Russia give those encounters in 2003 a certain poignancy. The former Iron Curtain is being redrawn. Russia has never felt so far away.
The Unknown will be launched during Paris Photo 2022. If you pick up your copy at Kominek Books during Paris Photo, you can avoid shipping costs by using the discount code PICKUPPARIS at checkout.
Relaunch of our campaign to support Ukrainian Red Cross
BUY THIS BOOK and we will donate the ENTIRE PROCEEDS (47.50 per book) to the Ukrainian Red Cross. PLEASE HELP US PROMOTING by SHARING this message within your network. Together, we can reach more people and raise more money.
Earlier this month, Arnold van Bruggen and I sold 84 books in just a few days and donated the entire proceeds of €3,990 to the Ukrainian Red Cross. We stopped the campaign because our book stock was running out. After contacting Aperture, they generously decided to replenish our stock free of charge. On top distributor Idea Books offered to take care of the transport from America to the Netherlands. Brilliant! What a generosity in support for Ukraine!
In 2015, the 2nd edition of our book An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus came out. We used on the cover the quote ‘This is the new face of Russia, our Russia’, from a propaganda speech made by the CEO of Sochi 2014, a Putin-supporting clown, during the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The book - released in first printing before the Winter Games - extensively covers the blatant human rights violations under Putin and his regime. We regularly received a frowning look, wondering if we hadn’t exaggerated things. After all, it couldn’t be that bad in Russia, could it? Again and again we explained: The Putin regime violates human rights on a large scale, is corrupt, criminal and dehumanizing. Disguised as a democracy.
Read about it in this book and support the Ukrainian Red Cross at the same time!
Book sale for Ukrainian Red Cross big success
One week ago, Arnold and I started our support campaign for Ukraine out of a state of anger and powerlessness. We sold a whopping 84 copies of our Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus for 47.50 euros each and have now donated the total amount of 3,990 euros to Red Cross giro 5125 for aid in Ukraine and the surrounding countries. Thanks to everyone - including Russian online trolls - who helped promote our messages on social media.
We realise that this is a drop in the ocean. We are working on a follow-up action, given that the atrocious war crimes under the leadership of war lord Putin seem to have no end in sight. We encourage everyone - governments and citizens - to continue to support Ukraine so that this huge country is not lost within a free Europe and becomes the domain of a totalitarian regime that runs on oppression and lies.
This war is not a war between Russia and Ukraine. This war is a war between a sickly power-obsessed dictator and Ukraine. We sympathise with the many incredibly brave Russian citizens who dare to speak out against this war on a daily basis. Meanwhile, more than 13 000 people have been arrested all over Russia. These people deserve praise, but instead they face imprisonment and a huge fine.
Humanity is cruel.
Help! Action to support Ukraine!
Buy this book! We - Arnold van Bruggen and Rob Hornstra - will donate the entire proceeds (€47.50 per book) to the Ukrainian Red Cross.
Seven years ago, the 2nd edition of our book An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus came out. We used on the cover the quote ‘This is the new face of Russia, our Russia’, from a propaganda speech made by the CEO of Sochi 2014, a Putin-supporting clown, during the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The book - released in first printing before the Winter Games - extensively covers the blatant human rights violations under Putin and his regime. We regularly received a frowning look, wondering if we hadn’t exaggerated things. After all, it couldn’t be that bad in Russia, could it? Our National Olympic Committee, for example, thought so. Our crown prince and his wife had a nice beer with Putin, the human rights violating ruler, during these very same Games. We were shocked. Again and again we explained: The Putin regime violates human rights on a large scale, is corrupt, criminal and dehumanizing. Disguised as a democracy. Read about it in this book.
Like many, we feel powerless in the light of the horrific events in Ukraine. We want to do something, we want to support Ukraine. That is why we decided on this action, buy this book and the entire amount will be transferred to the Ukrainian Red Cross. Do you already have the book? Buy again and give it as a gift to friends or acquaintances.
Very last copies Empty land, Promised land, Forbidden land
Everything comes to an end. So does the stock of our book Empty land, Promised land, Forbidden land. In 2010 writer Arnold van Bruggen and I made the first edition of the book, which to our surprise quickly sold out. Three years later - in 2013 - we returned to Abkhazia, among other things to investigate whether a second edition of the book was actually relevant. Against all the fine promises of politicians from Russia and Abkhazia, the country turned out to be virtually unchanged. We decided to make a second edition of the book, replacing some photos with a remake we made during our stay in 2013. Few people noticed.
As a tribute to the almost sold out book and because we desperately miss Abkhazia and its inhabitants, I am currently featuring a series of fifteen precious images from the series Empty land, Promised land, Forbidden land on my Instagram account. If you want to order one of the last copies, please click on the link below.
Dates of the next two editions of FOTODOK's Book Club
On Thursday October 4th and December 6th, the next editions of the FOTODOK Book Club will take place in Tivoli Vredenburg. If you want to know more about books and guests to expect or to buy a ticket, please click on the link below. Confirmed guests on October 4th are Jan Banning and Lewis Bush. More soon.
FOTODOK Book Club 14: Andrew Phelps, Christian van der Kooy and Robin de Puy
Very much looking forward to the 14th edition of the FOTODOK Book Club, starting at 8 pm on April 5, 2018 in Tivoli Vredenburg Utrecht. It promises to be an exciting evening with fabulous books made by Andrew Phelps & Paul Kranzler (The Drake Equation), Christian van der Kooij (Anastasiia) and Robin de Puy (Randy). Tivoli Vredenburg is located next to Utrecht Central Station. Buy your ticket via the link below.
Last week of Man Next Door at Centraal Museum Utrecht
Three months ago, the book Man Next Door was launched during the opening of the exhibition of the same project at the Centraal Museum in Utrecht. It was a great kick off in the presence of many friends and family of my former neighbour Kid, the protagonist of the project. Since its launch, many media have paid attention to the work, from local television to national radio and international magazines. Newspapers such as De Volkskrant and Libération selected the book among their favourite photo books 2017. The book stock is running at its end and the exhibition is almost over. Only one more week, to be seen until 4 March in the Centraal Museum Utrecht.
Review Man Next Door on CPM
Book review by Joerg Colberg at Conscientious Photography Magazine: “Whatever you might want to say about Kid, he was a man in need, and when society was unable to provide for those needs, there was not going to be a happy ending. Seen that way, Man Next Door amplifies the humanism that underlies all of Rob’s work, a humanism a bit masked by the style of photography and the intensely smart storytelling, with its many different devices.”
Man Next Door amonst
les 10 livres photo de 2017
Man Next Door chosen by French newspaper Libération amongst ten best photobooks of 2017. Please check out the link to view the full selection: “Sous les motifs d’accusation, se dessine alors un portrait tout en bosses, en bleus, en désespoir et en fantaisie. Il montre une autre facette des Pays-Bas, souvent perçus comme une vitrine de réussite sociale.”
Man Next Door amongst
Best Photobooks of 2017
I am very honoured that Dutch daily newspaper de Volkskrant has chosen Man Next Door as one of the best photo books of 2017. Please click on the link below to find the other selected titles.
Family and friends of Kid during the opening at Centraal Museum
Group photo in front of the giant snake wallpaper of (part of) friends and family who were present last Friday at the official opening and book launch of ‘Man Next Door’; a story about a typical Utrecht working class man. All of them received a free copy of the Family and Friends Edition, made possible by sixty people who pre-bought this edition last summer for a double price (paying for two copies). Thanks to all family and friends, thanks to all pre-buyers and thanks to the Centraal Museum for making this happen!
List of bookshops selling
Man Next Door
In addition to my own online shop, Man Next Door is currently also available in the following specialised bookshops (this list will be updated regularly):
- Bookshop Anzenberger Gallery, Vienna
- FoMu Shop, Antwerp
- Luova.fi, Helsinki
- L’Ascenseur Végétal, Bordeaux
- Unobtainium, Bandung (online only)
- FOAM, Amsterdam
- Huis Marseille, Amsterdam
- Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
- Photoq Bookshop, Amsterdam
- Boekhandel Hijman Ongerijmd, Arnhem
- Aleph Books, Utrecht
- Broese Boekverkopers, Utrecht
- Centraal Museum, Utrecht
- FOTODOK, Utrecht
- Steven Sterk, Utrecht
- Westerhof Boeken, Zwolle
- Photobookstore.co.uk (online only)
- PIX.HOUSE, Poznan
- Photobook Corner (online only)
- Dispara, Pontevedra
International pre-launch Man Next Door at Polycopies Paris
Together with Donald Weber we will be signing our new books Man Next Door and War Sand on Thursday, 9 November at 19:00 onboard the Polycopies bateau! Please join us during the Polycopies Book Fair. Our table is located on the lower deck, where throughout the weekend we’ll be offering free drinks and discounts.
Man Next Door in British Journal of Photography
Article written by Erik Vroons in collaboration with Simon Bainbridge for The British Journal of Photography about new book and exhibition Man Next Door.
Man Next Door on press at Kopa in Kaunas, Lithuania
I have just returned from Kaunas (Lithuania) where my book Man Next Door was printed. It is difficult to put into words how incredibly amazing it is to see years of work falling totally into place in a publication. Making a book is a wonderful yet exhausting process of endless decisions about editing, design, fonts, colors, papers, endpapers, head- and tail bands and endless more details that seem unimportant but can make or break a book at the end. I am incredibly happy with the modest and subtle design of -Syb- and the determined lithography and printing supervision of Colour & Books. Of course, many thanks to the large group of people who have already bought the book in advance. That too is desperately needed in order to be able to pay all invoices on time.
Announcement: Exhibition and book launch Man Next Door in Centraal Museum Utrecht
For over ten years I have been working on Man Next Door, a new project that examines the stigmatisation of the working class while offering a rare insight into the life of a working-class Utrecht boy. I am very happy to announce that Man Next Door will be exhibited from December 2, 2017 until March 25, 3018 at the best conceivable place for this work: the Centraal Museum in Utrecht. Opening plus book launch will take place on Friday, December 1, 2017 at 3 pm. A pre-launch of the book might be organized during Paris Photo (if planning allows).
Crowdfunding: Please help to fund 60 free copies for family and friends of Kid
In order to be able to share free copies of the book Man Next Door to family and friends of Kid, I ask for your help. By purchasing a numbered copy (1-60) of the Family and Friends Edition with special dust jacket, you fund one extra copy that will be given free of charge to family and friends of Kid during opening of the exhibition in Centraal Museum. This way, you make it possible that all friends and family members can receive a free copy. As a thank you, your name will be mentioned in the colophon of the book.
Book about my too early deceased neighbor Kid
Right after my graduation in 2004 I started living and working in a district in Utrecht named ‘Ondiep’; a typical Dutch working-class neighborhood with a lot of unemployment. This is one of the portraits I took of my neighbor Kid. Kid was a very loyal guy and always keeping an eye on my belongings when I was traveling abroad. He lived on benefits and was not seldom in trouble with authorities. Since 2012, Kid’s situation was going down. He was using drugs again and shady characters were constantly occupying his house. In summer 2013 he was found dead in the Utrecht canal, according to police reports because of an epileptic attack.
Together with designer Sybren Kuiper, I am currently working on a book about Kid’s life.
An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus
2nd Edition out now
Signed copies of the second edition of ‘An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus’ are now available for purchase in our online store.
Review An Atlas of War and Tourism
Review of our book ‘An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus’ on Disphotic by Lewis Bush.
Book Fair Stedelijk Museum
The Sochi Project runs a table at the Stedelijk Museum Book Fair with some discount offers, rare books and special editions. On Sunday at 12.15 there will be a live conversation with me, followed by a signing
Conversation and book signing at Aperture, NY
In Conversation: Rob Hornstra and Arnold van Bruggen on The Sochi Project at Aperture Gallery and Bookstore, 547 West 27th Street, New York, NY. Please follow link for more information.
Gold and silver at European Design Awards
A gold medal for the fourth annual publication within The Sochi Project ‘The Secret History of Khava Gaisanova’ and a silver medal for the final publication ‘An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus’ at the European Design Awards 2014. Big congrats to our designers Kummer & Herrman
Winner at PDN Photo Annual 2014 21.05.2014
The fourth annual publication within The Sochi Project ‘The Secret History of Khava Gaisanova’ is chosen as one of the winners at the PDN Photo Annual 2014 (book category). Please click the link below for more information or to order the book.
Conversation and book signing at UnionDocs, NY
In Conversation: Rob Hornstra and Arnold van Bruggen on The Sochi Project at UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art, 322 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. Organized by Aperture Foundation. Please follow link for more information
Special Edition An Atlas of War and Tourism 14.03.2014
A collector’s edition of ‘AnAtlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus’ is now available at the online store of The Sochi Project. Limited to 25 copies.
Best Photo Books 2013 30.12.2013
‘The Secret History of Khava Gaisanova’ has been selected as one of the best photo books of 2013 at photo-eye magazine.
Best Photo Books 2013 23.12.2013
’The Secret History of Khava Gaisanova’ has been selected by Joerg Colberg from Conscientious Photography Magazine as one of his favourite photobooks of 2013.
Events during Paris Photo 2013 14.11.2013 - 17.11.2013
On Friday November 15 at 16 PM I will sign our new book ‘An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus’ at Aperture’s booth E22. On Saturday November 16 at 16 PM at Flatlands booth (C33) I will sign the new book and Flatland has some out-of-print books, which will be for sale during this signing. Flatland Gallery will also present recent works from The Sochi Project. Sunday November 17 at 11 AM I will talk about The Sochi Project at a conference at Le Bal (6, Impasse de la Défense, Paris).