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Rob Hornstra and Arnold van Bruggen have been working together since 2009 to tell the story of Sochi, Russia—site of the 2014 Winter Olympics and glamorous Russian Riviera resort on the doorstep of conflict zones Abkhazia, North Ossetia, Georgia, and Chechnya. They have returned repeatedly to this region as committed practitioners of “slow journalism,” establishing a solid foundation of research on and engagement with this small yet incredibly complicated place before it found itself in the glare of international media attention.

Hornstra’s photographic approach combines the best of documentary storytelling with contemporary portraiture, found photographs, and other visual elements collected over the course of their travels. Since the beginning of their collaboration, The Sochi Project has been released via installments, in book form and online, each focusing on a particular facet of the story, the geography, the people, and their history.

Join Hornstra and van Bruggen as they offer an alternative perspective and in-depth reporting on this remarkable region that sits at the combustible crossroads of war, tourism, and history. Publisher Lesley A. Martin of the Aperture Foundation will moderate the discussion.


Rob Hornstra (born in Borne, The Netherlands, 1975) is a photographer and self-publisher of slow-form documentary work. In addition to his work on The Sochi Project, he is also the founder and former artistic director of FOTODOK—Space for Documentary Photography. Hornstra is represented by Flatland Gallery, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Arnold Van Bruggen is a writer and filmmaker. He is the founder of the journalistic production agency Prospektor, and a cofounder, with Hornstra, of The Sochi Project.

Lesley A. Martin is publisher of the Aperture Foundation book program and of The PhotoBook Review, a biannual newsprint journal dedicated to the conversation surrounding the photobook. Her writing on photography has been published in ApertureFOAMLay Flat, and Ojo de Pez, among other publications, and she has edited over eighty books of photography. In 2011, she launched The PhotoBook Review and co-founded the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation Book Awards, celebrating the contribution of the book to the evolving narrative of photography.

The Sochi Project: An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus will be on view at Aperture Gallery in New York from May 30 through July 10. The book is also available from Aperture Foundation.

2012_aperture_logo_stacked_largeAperture, a not-for-profit foundation, connects the photo community and its audiences with the most inspiring work, the sharpest ideas, and with each other—in print, in person, and online.

Created in 1952 by photographers and writers as “common ground for the advancement of photography,” Aperture today is a multi-platform publisher and center for the photo community. From its base in New York, Aperture Foundation produces, publishes, and presents a program of photography projects and programs­­­­––locally, across the United States, and around the world.

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