The Olympic Winter Games of 2014 will take place in Sochi. This is the largest seaside resort in Russia, and it lies in one of the world's most unstable regions: the Caucasus. Just twenty kilometres away is the unrecognised state of Abkhazia and not much further are rogue republics such as Cherkessia, North Ossetia and Chechnya. As the great event approaches, billions are being pumped into transforming the region. This money brings a huge influx of workers from Russia and abroad who come to build the Olympic city. The skyline of the coast, in which decrepit Soviet sanatoria and the most luxurious hotels of the new Russia stand next to each other, is rapidly being changed. The poorer resorts and refugee flats give way to the stadiums, hotels and modern infrastructure that the event demands. Views from Sochi follows the building of this dream.
Dutch photographer Rob Hornstra started in 2009 the ambitious Sochi Project with the writer and filmmaker Arnold van Bruggen. Their purpose is documenting the vast change of Sochi and its surrounding regions in a number of different media: photography, film and writing. Hornstra and van Bruggen have funded their project independently. Donations, features and book sales allow the creation of a project too vast for the traditional venues for journalism to fund it. To date the Sochi Project has produced a number of finished 'chapters' of the larger work in progress: self published newspapers, books and exhibitions. Views from Sochi reports on the current state of The Sochi Project.
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