Anthony Burill and Partisan Press
Gignoux Photos is collaborating with graphic artist Anthony Burrill, who has designed the striking titles for our RUSSIAN RUST BELT photobook. Anthony used a wood block typeface from the collection of Partisan Press, Moscow.
Partisan Press are a small print studio who make woodtype printed posters using type from an old printing press. Printer Sergei Besov of Partisan Press gained instant attention when, in the early days of Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine, he started printing “No to War” posters in the shop. One video of a poster being made garnered 3.6 million views on Instagram.
Russian Rust Belt
For the last few months, Gignoux Photos have been working on RUSSIAN RUST BELT, a photobook incorporating images from Alan’s residency with the NCCA (National Centre for Contemporary Art) in the Ural region in Russia in 2009.
Once the driving force behind the Soviet military-industrial complex, the Urals industrial region is now the Russian rust belt, suffering from economic decline and severe environmental degradation. Alan travelled throughout the region documenting street life, factory work and the urban environment, characterized by abandoned factories; outdated and dilapidated industrial equipment; decaying housing and urban infrastructure; and landscapes scarred by mining and metallurgy, and the devastating pollution associated with those industries.
Inspired by Soviet Photobooks
The design of the book was inspired by the Soviet era photobooks produced between 1920 and 1941 by teams of photographers, typographers, graphic designers, and writers.
They portrayed construction on a massive scale, with the most prominent projects, such as the construction of Magnitogorsk in the remote Russian steppe, chosen as the subject of individual books. They promoted the idea that by participating in the rapid industrialization and urbanization introduced by Stalin, Soviet workers would be creating an internationally respected world power and the first truly equal socialist society.
RUSSIAN RUST BELT adapts some of the design devices characteristic of the Soviet photobook to communicate the gradual decline of the Soviet industrial project and its complicated legacy.
RUSSIAN RUST BELT has been developed with a group of creatives, including photographer Alan Gignoux, graphic artist Anthony Burrill, creative consultant Chloe Juno, book designer Emil Macaulay, and writer and editor Jenny Christensson.