Soviet Russia In Black & White

October 5-27
Opening Reception: October 5, 5-7pm

The photographs featured in Soviet Russia in Black and White were taken by staff in the American Relief Administration during the famine of 1921 in Soviet Russia. This famine was unprecedented in scope: millions died from starvation and hunger-related epidemics.

The photographs were primarily taken in Ukraine and Crimea. They lie somewhere between official documents and tourist photographs, with the precarity of daily life in the midst of famine at the end of a civil war rubbing up against American adventures in Bolshevik Russia.

The American Relief Administration, directed by Herbert Hoover after the First World War, used the power of food relief in Europe and eventually Russia in a particularly American brand of humanitarianism based around maximum efficiency and anti-Bolshevism. American relief administrators arrived in Russia in 1921, and by the summer of 1922 were feeding 11 million people every day through food package delivery systems and ARA kitchens.

A collection of original glass negatives donated to Ani Rivera's Archival Matters in Amherst constitutes the source for this exhibition. Mr. Rivera has enlarged and printed the images for the purpose of this exhibition. The Hoover Institution Archives at Stanford University holds a larger collection of glass negatives, as well as diaries, memoirs, and private letters, from the ARA.