Ukrainian photo book featuring Soviet Era images wins at festival in Hong Kong

Ukrainian artists Volodymyr Shypotilnykov and Anna Pylypyuk have won the main award at the Hong Kong Photobook Festival for their album titled “Photography Firmly Enters the Everyday.” The authors announced this on social media.

The album showcases amateur photography in Soviet Ukraine. It contains around 370 anonymous images that were collected from flea markets and online auctions. All of the photographs are published for the first time. According to the authors, the book “forms an atlas of the Soviet century from the perspective of everyday life.”

The project began in 2017. Prior to the full-scale invasion, they managed to collect 3,000 photographs, which were later evacuated to a safe location. The craft edition was created during Russian rocket attacks and blackouts in Kyiv. In total, 30 copies of the book were produced.

Read also: Living as an Ordinary Soviet Person

“In this book, photography serves as both a tool and an object; it is a mirror of history,” the authors note. “The constellation of images radiates the smallest details of the everyday, the unique and mundane, the ordinary and extraordinary. They are records of social existence during the communist project of the 20th century.”

This spring, the book also made it to the shortlist of the international competition Kassel Dummy Award 2023, which identifies the best unpublished book dummies.

Volodymyr Shypotilnykov and Anna Pylypyuk, in their collaborative practice, explore the everyday through photography. Their works have been showcased in exhibitions in Ukraine and abroad.

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