Confrontation with the West gave rise to a special type of territorial formation in the Soviet Union — closed cities (ZATO). They served the state’s science and defense needs as sites of nuclear weapons development (Arzamas-16) or disposal (Sverdlovsk-45), and as bases for the navy and missile forces. There are 41 closed cities in modern-day Russia, which are home to 1.2 million people.
Project ZATO is a visualization of the memories of residents of closed cities and Novikov’s experience of visiting these places. The photographs are staged, and the project does not contain any photos that he took himself in the closed cities.
Sergey Novikov was born in Cheboksary, Russia, based in Moscow, Russia. His work has been published in numerous magazines and web photo blogs, including Esquire Russia, Russian Reporter, Bolshoi Gorod, Afisha-MIR, Rolling Stone Italy, The Moscow Times magazines, Landscape Stories, Lenscratch, DVA Foto, Prism e-magazine, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, Buzzfeed, The Atlantic Cities, New Landscape Photography, Fotografia Magazine, Self-Publish Be Happy, F-Stop magazine, Calvert journal, F-Stop magazine, and Dazed and Confused.
His self-published titles include: FC Volga United, Belgian beer, The Chronicle of shooting the cover image for the book “Most frequently visited hills and ravines”, ZATO.