From Arkhangelsk in the north to Astrakhan in the south, from Saint Petersburg in the west to Ulan-Ude in the east, Vincent Perez and Olivier Rolin crisscrossed this continent-country which both of them are profoundly attracted to and curious about.
While the photographer offers a gallery of stunningly intense landscapes and portraits – carpenters, peasant farmers and fishermen stand alongside wealthy landowners, Cossacks, artists, the unemployed and even a shaman, two dogs and a fish head; the writer, wishing to 'confront his words with the photographer’s gaze,' describes, recounts, evokes personal memories and provides historical background.
Together, the eye and the pen compose an offbeat narrative of a journey through the diversity of a place where Europe and Asia meet, and which is still largely unknown to us.
Vincent Perez, born in 1964 in Lausanne, Switzerland, is an actor and director. In recent years, he has gone back to his first love, photography, which he studied before starting his career in film.
Olivier Rolin, born in 1947, is the author of some two dozen books: novels, essays and travel writing.