Summerhouse story: in praise of the dacha

Every summer, the population of Russia's city drops as residents escape for their summerhouses, or dachas, which, however humble, provide a retreat from the blistering seasonal heat. Even in normally hectic Moscow the streets are calmer and the traffic-choked roads relatively empty. British photographer Ed Park, who has worked for Monocle, Frieze and The Guardian among many other assignments, shot Summerhouse Story across a series of successive visits to his Russian wife's Sonya's hometown of Novosibirsk, in Siberia. "We stayed at an apartment in the high-rise housing development where Sonya grew up," says Park. "We also spent time at the family’s dacha just a few miles from the city. I was inspired by the contrast between the concrete Soviet-built urban environment of Novosibirsk and the verdant Russian landscape surrounding the wooden dachas. Summerhouse Story is about a journey that many ordinary Russians take to a place where they can relax, cultivate the soil and find themselves again."

19 July 2013
Image Ed Park

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