Alexander Aksakov (b. 1986, Russia) is a freelance photographer based in St. Petersburg. 365, presented at Slideluck London and also a book published by Akina Books, is a journey through one year of life in the company of young Russians who have been drafted into the military with only “a uniform, a pair of boots, a box of dry rations and a chance to pay our ‘debts’ to the motherland”.

Aksakov documented his life during the military service for 365 long days. Despite the military’s rigidity and imposition of rules, he managed to shoot the project using a hidden Smena-8M camera (a cheap plastic 35mm Russian camera), shedding light on an experience that is usually hidden from public eye. Adding to this, because the project was shot on film, Aksakov wasn’t able to see a single frame from his work until the year was over.

“The one who served in the Russian army never laughs in the circus.”

Somewhere between a personal diary and reportage, Aksakov documented seasons passing by and the slowness of life. He depicts moments of intimacy, alienation, nostalgia, fear, loneliness and will to escape.

“365 Dreams” is also featured in Hungry Still, and these are Aksakov’s anecdote and recipe. Enjoy!


Demobilization cake

Grind some cookies, (oatmeal cookies, milk bisquits, etc.), add sweetened condensed milk in, mix it and leave it for some hours.

You can also add nuts, raisins and so on. Have it with black tea.

Multimedia Tips

a. What program was used to create the multimedia?

Adobe Premiere.

b. How and why did you choose that sound/music?

This sound and voiceover were chosen, because first, they fit the video itself, and secondly they help understand the atmosphere of the army base I had to serve in.

b. Tell us about the editing process when you think of a multimedia.

I think of the sequence first, then I choose music and sounds.

Usually, it takes 3 or 4 attempts to make a version of a multimedia which satisfies me.

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Alexander Aksakov | 365 Dreams