Grozny: Nine Cities

Olga Kravets

Photographer, Filmmaker

Olga Kravets French author, shooting director and photographer, Nikon Europe ambassador. Co-founder of Mutin[R]y, a feminist multimedia production company.

Born in Moscow, then USSR, in 1984, to a Ukrainian father and a Russian mother. Currently Kravets is based in Paris.

A journalist by education, Olga picked up photography in search of means of expression alternative to words in the absence of freedom of expression in Russia. Filmmaking came naturally after that, a love from the first sight. Olga decided not to choose between the three mediums and combine them all for the benefit of telling complex stories on human rights, religion and conflict.

In 2016, Olga directed It’s Getting Dark – the story of five families of political prisoners across Russia through time, premiered at the prestigious IDFA festival in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The film, is inspired by a former Gulag prisoner who told me that she saw history repeating itself in modern Russia while citizens were turning a blind eye to it.

In 2018, together with fellow authors Oksana Yushko and Maria Morina and curator Anna Shpakova Olga a crossmedia project that took almost a decade in the making, Grozny: Nine Cities (presented at Sarajevo national gallery during WARM in 2015).

Combining investigative journalism, documentary photography, video and archives to produce a three-screen installation for museums, a web-documentary in open access, and a book the project tells the story of the aftermath of two wars Russia waged in Chechnya. The project was published, awarded and exhibited internationally, including at Rencontres d’Arles, France, the most important photography festival in Europe, and in Kyiv, Ukraine following the Russian annexation of Crimea.

In 2022, Olga published her second book, More Fear Than Allah, on persecution of Russian converts to Islam by security services, in which I break away from journalism and embrace engaged authorship.

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