beyond sochi :: photos of russia by russians

Valeriy Klamm felt the preconceived images of Russia were too narrow. So he started a photography website to change that.

By Grant Slater, via NPR February 22, 2014.

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Marina, an insemination technician, and Lyuba, a milkmaid, pose for a portrait on a dairy farm south of St. Petersburg, near the road to Moscow. Sergey Maximishin, St. Petersburg

The gap between how foreigners view Russia and how Russians view themselves is wide and as old as the country itself.

Russian photographer Valeriy Klamm felt that foreign photojournalists who came to work in his country arrive with the pictures they want to send back home already in their head: Bleak images of a cold and desolate place where autocrats lord over drunks.

“They already know how to take pictures of Russia, and that’s how they arrive,” Klamm said. “It’s always a wild country that’s in some kind of difficult transition period.”

Klamm, himself, had never photographed much outside of his home city of Novosibirsk, where nearly 2 million people live on the banks of the Ob River in the middle of Siberia.

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