Photographer Arseniy Kotov has a thing for “modernist” Soviet architecture and has made a career of documenting it via (this being now a decidedly post-Soviet world) Instagram, entries to which were gathered into a book Soviet Cities which has been followed by Soviet Seasons, a collection of photos divided into four quarters, nominally by time of year, but more specifically, perhaps, by region: winter in Siberia, the Caucasus in summer, Central Russia in the Spring and Ukraine in the Autumn.
It’s a cliche to call North Korea the most isolated country in the world. Those of us living outside the country often have very little idea of what life there is like, often only seeing what its government would like us to see: military parades, missile launches, and joyous crowds.
From Peking to Paris tells the story of Ellen Thorbecke (née Kolban, 1902-1973), a free-spirited woman who holds a singular position in international photography. Her work has been largely forgotten, but is currently making a revival, because—among other reasons—her photographs provide a unique portrait of China ruled by Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalist government. Over several years in the 1930s, Thorbecke made six photo books (of which five have been published) covering China. From Peking to Paris compiles these into a single volume, which also includes Thorbecke’s photography of France, the Netherlands and the newly-established state of Israel.
For the last few decades, China has been in the midst of a building boom. Since the socio-political changes brought about by Chinese economic reforms since 1978, urbanization and, hence, architecture have accelerated. The country’s rapid growth has been accompanied by unprecedented change in the built landscape. At the same time, the possibility of building at unprecedented scales has been accompanied by a freedom to experience with architectural forms.
Lindsey Miller spent two years in North Korea from 2017 to 2019 when her husband was posted to the British Embassy in Pyongyang. Miller (some research reveals) has a career of her own (she is currently musical director at the Royal Shakespeare Company) and finding herself (one supposes) somewhat at loose ends as a diplomatic spouse, started taking photographs.
The Karakoram Mountains, located for the most part in north-eastern Pakistan, contains four of the world’s fourteen 8000m peaks and four of the longest glaciers outside the polar regions. Photographer Colin Prior has been “fascinated” by the Karakoram for the better part of a half-century, and traveling there for a quarter-century, and it shows.
The area where the country of Yemen is now found was long known to geographers by the Latin Arabic Felix; felix meant “fertile” but also “happy” or “lucky”. Yemen is much in the news today and little of it is either happy or lucky. When Peter Schlesinger visited the Yemen Arab Republic (the northern half of a country still split in two) in 1976—hitching a ride, as it were, with his friend Eric Boman, who had been invited to do a story for a French fashion magazine—the country had only just emerged from civil war and entering an all-too-brief period of peace and hope.