Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums

Take a photographic journey to the curious world of Soviet health spas at the launch of the new book Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums by Maryam Omidi.

Join us and FUEL Publishing at the Calvert 22 Bookshop, where you can preview the book’s stunning photography and purchase a limited edition slipcase copy. You can also taste KinoVino‘s Soviet canteen-inspired dishes like vitamin salad, buckwheat porridge and fruit-infused vodka cocktails.

FREE, RSVP required.

About the book

This book is the first to offer a comprehensive collection of photographs and text on Soviet-era sanatoriums from Armenia to Uzbekistan. All the photographs are specially commissioned for the book, taken by a team of young photographers specialising in the post-Soviet territories.

Originally conceived in the 1920s, sanatoriums afforded workers a place to holiday, courtesy of a state-funded voucher system. At their peak they were visited by millions of citizens across the USSR every year. A combination of medical institution and spa, the era’s sanatoriums are among the most innovative buildings of their time.

Although aesthetically diverse, Soviet utopian values permeated every aspect: western holidays were perceived as decadent. By contrast, sanatorium breaks were intended to edify and strengthen visitors – health professionals carefully monitored guests throughout their stay, so they could return to work with renewed vigour. Certain sanatoriums became known for their specialist treatments, such as crude oil baths and radon water douches.

About the author

Maryam Omidi is a former journalist and Features Editor of The Calvert Journal. She has been published in the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Associated Press, Eurozine and Index on Censorship.

About the publisher

FUEL are Damon Murray and Stephen Sorrell, a graphic design and publishing company established in 1991.

With a focus on contemporary art, FUEL have developed long-term relationships with a number of artists, galleries and publishers, specialising in the design and production of catalogues and monographs.

As a natural development of their design practice, the imprint FUEL Publishing produces books in close collaboration with artists and authors. All books are edited and designed by FUEL in the Spitalfields studio where they have worked since 1992.

About KinoVino

KinoVino is rapidly gaining recognition as one of London’s most original projects, that unites food and film. Featured in British Vogue and named one of the 11 best supper clubs by TimeOut London, KinoVino was recently featured in The Telegraph as one of the trends in the summer 2017. Conceived by film curator and avid cook Alissa Timoshkina, KinoVino marries best of world cinema with some of the most innovative menus inspired by the films and brought to life by London’s leading chefs.

Image: Egor Rogalev, White Nights, Sochi, Russia