Alexander Aksakov

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Alexander Aksakov spent 365 days
in a Russian military base during the compulsory draft.
He managed to sneak in a Smena camera and some rolls of film and brought back a rare document of an unrequested rite of passage.

In his silent diary Alexander recorded images of the long winter and its idle times inside the base, the bewildered faces of the recruits,
the spring country outings with AK-74s, dreaming of running away.
For the whole year he never saw the images he was taking.

Between the lines there’s the story of the photographer and the tricks he used to keep his camera concealed during inspections,
bargaining with superiors, sneaking the rolls of film at the bottom of his bag .. not quite the usual embedded journalist’s routine.
Unlike most diaries Alexander didn’t know what was on his until he got back to the civilization one year later, one year older, somehow changed.

“A teenager with a fur hat and a green coat.
Give him a Kalashnikow and he’s not going to be the same teenager.
Possibly not a teenager anymore.”

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Product Description

100 colour pages
20 x 12 cm
Printed on Fedrigoni Freelife Kendo
Screenprint cover on 1400 micron board
Handmade Coptic binding
Edition of 150



You can read Alexander Aksakov’s introduction to 365 here

“365″ has been featured on 3 pages of the Sunday Times and a clip from Alexander’s work has been projected at the Slideluck in Derby.

Reviews of “365″ are available on: Des Livres et Des Photos, on GUP Magazine and on Propaganda Photos

365 was selcted for the exhibited at Les Recontres d’Arles for the Arles Photobook Prize 2013

The book is part of the New York ICP exhibition “A different kind of order

Alexander graduated in marketing from Syktyvkar State University.
Instead of following a career path he started hitchhiking across the country with a camera,
documenting life in both cities and roads of Russia.
At 21 he was drafted into the Red Army, he was sent at a secret training base in the middle of nowhere
where he brought his Smena camera with him, the experience is recounted in his photo-book 365.
He studied at the photojournalist in St Petersburg but drop off after one year.
He now works as a photojournalist and he’s currently involved n documenting the disappearing villages along the Soviet Era canal system leading from the White Sea to the Black Sea.