Alexandra Review

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An elderly woman takes a train trip to visit her grandson at his army camp inside Chechnya.


Notwithstanding the simplistic suggestion that the world wouldn’t be a mess if women were in charge, this is a powerful treatise on conflict’s human toll. Arriving at a Russian army base outside Grozny to see her grandson, Galina Vishnevskaya is appalled by the heat, stench and endless privations the troops endure. However, an encounter with Chechen market stallholder Raisa Gichaeva persuades her that the locals are every bit as poor and benumbed as their occupiers. This is war as stalemate, with Aleksandr Burov’s bleached images creating an alien landscape in which colour is as rare as compassion. Rarely has combat seemed so savage or futile.

A powerful treatise on conflict’s human toll.