In the North Caucasus wrestling is perceived as more than a mere sport. It is integral and inherent to the upbringing of any young man. This deeply engrained tradition of wrestling is largely explained by the ongoing conflict that permeates the area, where ‘life is a struggle, and wrestling is a struggle in itself’. Frank frontal portraits of pre-adolescent and teenage boys in their wrestling singlets visually replicate the importance and seriousness attributed to wrestling in the North Caucasus, the birthplace of many Olympic champions. The funds garnered from the sales of this booklet will help finance the independent journalistic undertaking that is The Sochi Project: a combination of documentary photography, film and reportage in which photographer Rob Hornstra and journalist Arnold van Bruggen unravel the drastic changes that the region is currently undergoing in preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Life Here is Serious was featured in the books section of GUP #34, What We Like 2.