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Per Aspera Ad Astra
by Natasha Hull

Subject: Music
Publisher: Seagull Publishing (UK)

Edition Our Price inc. p&p Status
large format paperback, 240mm x 240mm, 140pp, ISBN 095433681X, 2004 N/A out of print

Per Aspera Ad Astra cover

    Contains free CD featuring 10 tracks of the very best of Russian Rock

Natasha Hull's music photgraphy career began in the early 70s in St Petersburg, Russia, where she would photograph friends' bands playing Beatles covers. Despite rock music being officially banned in the USSR, she made a living out of her passion by selling her photographs at underground concerts – where she ran the constant risk of being harassed, interrogated and arrested by the authorities.

As the musical revolution gathered pace, the bands got bigger, and by the 90s they were among the biggest stadium acts in Russia. Natasha not only documented the rise of these bands, she captured the spirit of the times. From the paranoid days of Brezhnev to the burgeoning sense of hope in the 90s, Natasha photographed the people who, despite official disapproval, went out of their way to express themselves through music.

The passion, energy and occasional sadness Natasha has captured in these compelling photographs is a unique record of a cultural phenomenon only now beginning to be understood in the West. The accompanying stories – written by Natasha in English – weave an elegant thread through her experiences and culminate in a meeting with John Lennon's wife, Yoko Ono, on a little-documented visit behind the Iron Curtain.

Natasha came to Britain in 1994 to work for a new Russian music magazine. She was the first Russian photographer to gain accreditation to photograph The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Bon Jovi and even Blur. She now lives in London where she is an aromatherapist and director of Seagull Publishing, promoting Russian modern fiction in the English-speaking world.