30,000 Hidden Images Reveal the World of a Soviet-Era Photographer

Self Portrati
Self-portrait, taken in Dubroshkino, Leningrad, 1989.

Masha Ivashintsova was born in Russia, in 1942. At 18 she started taking photographs, and became involved the underground arts movement in St. Petersburg, then known as Leningrad. She shot prolifically on the streets of the city, with either her Leica IIIc or Rolleiflex. But she never showed her work to anyone—some of it she didn’t even develop. When she died, in 2000, she left 30,000 photographs—in the form of negatives and undeveloped film—in a box, where they remained, untouched, for 17 years.

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