In the mid-1920s the Soviet Union was in need of specialists who could help to design and construct entirely new cities in the Urals and Siberia. Filled with idealistic ideas and desire for adventures, modern architects from Western Europe left for the future workers’ paradise. Dutch architect Han van Loghem, who had recently achieved success with his design for Amsterdam’s Betondorp (‘concrete village’), was one of the most notable of them. Building Amidst Solitude tells his personal and professional story, a story behind the Siberian Dutch architectural heritage.

Pim Zwier is a media-artist/filmmaker based in Amsterdam, who makes documentaries, short films, photographs and video-installations. His work is often inspired by, and/or based upon, archive material. For his documentaries he prefers to work with personal historical documents – e.g. letters, diaries etc – in which a ‘small history’ has been recorded. A description of the protagonist themselves how they experienced events. The German writer Sebastian Haffner describes these small histories as an ‘intimate chronicle’: it’s a chronicle of a period in time, documented and described from a personal point of view and experience.