Originally recorded at 3:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, July 17, 2018.
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.
About Chautauqua Institution: Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue. CHQ Assembly is the online expression of Chautauqua Institution's mission.