The Komi Diary



For his Komi Diary project, Filippo Zambon (b. 1981, Italy) visited Syktyvkar, the capital of the Komi Republic in North Russia. Located far from any major Russian cities and from the fast life and economic development of the West, it is an area that still lives in the red shades of communism. Ironically, the book’s title is similar to the slang word for communists: commies.

The images in the book include characteristic Soviet style buildings, sculptures of Lenin and bittersweet babushkas, juxtaposed with photographs of male and female nudes. The Komi Diary might propose a strictly Western vision of the area by portraying everything as a rare and exotic piece of jewellery. However, beneath the sheer of striking colours and flower-patterned dresses of the elderly, Zambon is communicating the region's present state of decay. By portraying empty landscapes and forlorn people, the photographer highlights a lack of opportunities for the youth that has been fleeing to chase their dreams in glossy Russian metropolises like St. Petersburg and Moscow.