What does it mean to live in Russia
today? What is it like to grow up in a forgotten city, to be a migrant
worker or to grow old and seek solace in the Orthodox church?
For the past eight years, graphic artist and activist Victoria Lomasko
has been travelling around Russia and talking to people as she draws
their stories. She spent time in dying villages where schoolteachers
outnumber students; she stayed with sex workers in the city of Nizhny
Novgorod; she went to juvenile prisons and spoke to kids who have no
contact with the outside world; and she attended every major political
rally in Moscow.
The result is Other Russias, Lomasko’s
first collection of graphic journalism and an extraordinary portrait of
Russia in the Putin years — a country full of people who have been left
behind, many of whom are determined to fight for their rights and for
progress against impossible odds. Empathetic, honest, funny, and often
devastating, Lomasko’s portraits show us a side of Russia that is hardly ever seen.
A graduate of the Moscow State University of Printing Arts, Victoria Lomasko
now works as a graphic artist, with a particular focus on graphic
reportage. Drawing on the Russian tradition of reportage drawing, Lomasko
explores current Russian society, especially the inner workings of the
country's diverse communities and groups, such as Russian Orthodox
believers, LGBT activists, underage prostitutes, migrant workers, sex
workers, and collective farm workers. English translations of her work
have previously been published on the websites Chtodelat News, The Russian Reader, and n+1.