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Other Russias

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4.31  ·  Rating details ·  245 ratings  ·  44 reviews
From a renowned graphic artist and activist, an incredible portrait of life in Russia today

'Victoria Lomasko's gritty, street-level view of the great Russian people masterfully intertwines quiet desperation with open defiance. Her drawings have an on-the-spot immediacy that I envy. She is one of the brave ones' - Joe Sacco, author of Palestine

What does it mean to live in R
...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 29th 2017 by Penguin (first published March 7th 2017)
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Average rating 4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  245 ratings  ·  44 reviews


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Lauren
What kind of responsibility does an artist have? What I was trying to do, above all, was to break through to a more direct grasp and reflection of the reality around me... I found I had to become an independent researcher, journalist, and activist. I made working at the crossroads of journalism and human rights activism my creative method.

Lomasko's graphic reportage is gathered in Other Russias, and divided into two sections:

INVISIBLE shares the lives of the elderly she meets on public transpor
...more
Will
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the most vital books to come out of Russia in the Putin era. This is a must-read.
Ksenia Anske
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To know and understand Russia—and the Russian people whose stories never make it to the news—read this book, and read all work by Victoria Lomasko. Her graphic reportage tells stories you wouldn't read anywhere else, stories of children in juvenile prisons, sex workers, slaves, truckers, migrants, retired single women, village teachers, people from LGBT community, political protesters, and more. Please buy this book and tell all your friends about it to support Victoria. Her next book is coming ...more
Emily
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
The reporting is well done and I like the graphic style, but I was hoping more for some representations from the regions, rather than Moscow. The last part about the truck drivers' protest was the best. ...more
Zuberino
A brilliant, angry, hopeful book. Lomasko is a graphic artist and has documented every major Russian protest movement of the last decade, from Pussy Riot to the truckers’ camps. Beyond those are the many interviews of the downtrodden and the damned: violent kids in juvie, sex workers in Nizhny, Kazakh slaves in Moscow. Incredible insights into Putin’s land, and squarely in the noble tradition of Russian dissent that stretches back to Herzen and Solzhenitsyn.
Leah
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Exceptional art and reportage that carries a lot of thought, complexity, and emotion. A must-read for anyone interested in Russian society and protest movements.
Becki Iverson
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For the first time pretty much all year I got AHEAD on reading for my global book club! This was so eye opening to read. I love graphic novels and the format is especially helpful here, as it allows us to see the diverse kinds of people Lomasko describes. It's easy to forget living so far away in America and amidst all the propaganda we get about Russia just how damn big it is (literally continent+ sized) and how many infinite groups of people live there. There's a stereotypical U.S.S.R. type bu ...more
Colin
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: extfriendly
This book is a patchwork of sketches and opinions of a range of ordinary people struggling with the government and church. The artist has sat down in court rooms to hear the trial of dissidents and members of Pussy Riot, hung out on picket lines and at mass demonstrations and visited schools and prisons. The pictures aren't polished but there's a kind of immediacy to them, mixed in with the person's own words. The whole thing is really fresh and illuminating. It was a chance find - I picked it u ...more
David Schwan
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got this at the 2017 Bay Area Art Book Fair. A series of interesting (and clearly subversive stories) about life in Russia. The theocratic and oligaric forces in Russia shown in the negative light that they deserve. Anybody who harbors exicitement about life in modern Russia is cleary not in the mainstream. The stories all include many drawings by the author.
Anna-maria Rebel
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Raw insights into the many faces of Russia's activist culture ...more
Claire
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very unique graphic novel (Lomasko calls her work “graphic reportage”) that gives a voice to the downtrodden in Putin’s Russia through art. We meet enslaved women lured from Kazakhstan under a false promise of work, sex workers, juvenile delinquents taking art classes in prison, children of ethnic minority migrant workers in rural schools that are pressed for resources, and LGBT Russians putting on queer film festivals amidst bomb threats. The second part of the book focuses on recent activism ...more
Ernest
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very unique book. I first picked it up because it intersected with three of my interests- contemporary Russian society, activism, as well as trying to practice my very rudimentary Russian (really, more like parsing Cyrillic). What I've instead discovered is a fascinating insight into the struggle between Russian grassroots activists and the state, in a well-illustrated account spanning many episodes.

There is often a temptation to cast Russian politics as a losing battle between liberal reform
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Stephine
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chq-clsc
A fascinating read, and an interesting genre.
Vinayak Hegde
Other Russias is a book that talks about ordinary people that are generally not covered in conventional media. The book uses a form of graphic reporting - a mixture of text and drawn pictures. The pictures themselves are drawn on the spot and hence much of the coverage is rawer and less refined than conventional media.

The book is divided into two parts, the first part - Invisible - looks at marginalized parts of the populations such as indentured labor (slavery), prostitutes, isolated villages,
...more
Anna
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-english
I really enjoyed "Other Russias" for the most part. Some very interesting topics shown and discussed, I learnd a lot! I wish there would have been more details on the events and more background information, but at least the book inspired some further research work for me. The art style is not very beautiful in the common sense, but at times interesting and definitely illustrative! I guess it is very hard to draw on the go and capture the moments through graphic reportage, so I think the outcome ...more
rebecca
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fascinating, raw insight into the hopes, fears and struggles of everyday Russians, Other Russias takes its reader on a journey through the country, telling the stories of young men in juvenile prisons, of villages on the brink of extinction, of women kept as slaves in the capital, of sex workers in the provinces, as well as looking at recent political issues such as an LGBT film festival held in 2013, a truckers' strike and, of course, the Pussy Riot trials. Victoria Lomasko's drawing style is ...more
Christopher Barclay
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As a Russian language learner + political science major, I found this book gave me a special glimpse into the "Other Russias" (that is, the often neglected parts of Russia) that exist and desire to hear their voice heard, or their image drawn. Lomasko does a beautiful job representing the expressions of the people she's interviewed. The book also provides a bunch of imagery for activism that had occurred in Russia – these images, this medium, provides a certain feeling or viewpoint that photogra ...more
Alice
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The concept of graphic reportage is very interesting and the stories are well done. They are mostly not connected, anymore than the stories by a newspaper reporter would be. They are fairly specific, being, I believe, written primarily for a Russian readership. Since I am not closely acquainted with in depth Russian news, it was a bit hard to follow. For people that are more aware of the situation in Russia, this could be fascinating. For other it may not.
Abigail
Jun 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I bought this a few month ago after going to a talk by Lomasko about her graphic reportage style and her experience in documenting activism. I finally got around to reading this, and while I think the stories are very poignant and her perspective as an artist is beautiful and fascinating, I also have zero context for the political events that she is discussing. I think if I had a greater depth of knowledge of Russian politics this would have been a lot easier to follow.
Barbara
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a remarkable book, "graphic reportage" with drawings and text featuring some of the Russian people we never hear about - the children in far-flung parts of the country who don't even know the name of the capital city, the sex workers in an industrial town, inmates of juvenile prisons, and groups getting together to protest about the destruction of a local park or the imposition of crippling road tolls on lorry-drivers. A side of Russia we never get to find out about. ...more
Jilly
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Other Russias is an important look at Russia today. The book is a collection of Lomasko's work over the past decades and covers the parts of Russia that don't often make it to the West. I had my students read this book for a class this semester as a means of discussing censorship & whose stories get told. ...more
Irma
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Terrific "graphic reportage" account of repression and resistance in modern Russia. I couldn't put it down. Lomasko seems to have invented an art form perfect for her skillset -- she has a journalist's eye for context and story, and the artist's eye for humanity. So glad I stumbled upon this wonderful labor of love ...more
Emily
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really like Lomasko's drawing style which, along with trying to translate the Russian speech bubbles as a Russian beginner, was enough for me to enjoy alone.
The issues she explores are really interesting and offered an insight to modern Russian life, culture and politics that I haven't seen before.
...more
Anne
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
There's a lot of information about anti-Putin resistance groups and how the lives of ordinary people are affected by his harsh, discriminatory, and fascist rule. Sometimes I felt like I needed a little more context and had to do more research, but ultimately I learned a lot from this. ...more
Massimina Ferny
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
(Translated from Russian)
Victoria Lomasko's book is a rare format of live drawing as a form of ethnography and records, drawing from political events and her meetings with truckers, prostitutes etc.
Lively book that's easy to go through.
...more
James Salvatore
"Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was the major geopolitical disaster of the century." -Vladimir Putin

or, attempting to sweep an empire of 290 million into the dustbin of history is going to kick up a lot of dust.
...more
Vicki
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
An important book about "what else" is going on in Russia, using both drawings and narrative reporting. It's always hard to read this kind of stuff because it makes you feel like the world can never be put together again, but I really recommend this one. ...more
Bilan M. Atayaah
Jul 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
3.5🌟 Really great graphic reportage, easy to read and insightful on Russian life. I enjoyed the first section, ‘invisible’ more so than the latter half, partly because much of the politics went over my head. But nonetheless, I would recommend.
Julie Brock
Dec 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fascinating - I love her "graphic reportage" methods of drawing her interviewees while speaking with them. She highlights some better known events (such as the Pussy Riot arrests) as well as lesser known situations (such as the truckers' strike). ...more
Zach
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such a vast and lonely and sad wasteland, Mother Russia.
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