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Book series examining life in the former Soviet Union.

book project

Design & Writing: Sofya Karash
Advisors: Stephen Farrell, Mark Booth & James McManus

“Travail” is defined as making painful or laborious efforts, deriving from the latin “tripalium,” a torture instrument consisting of three stakes. Each book in the Travails series employs a different narrative and visual strategy to examine life in the former Soviet Union and related themes including migration, material culture, and memory. Through personal classifications, poetry, familial anecdotes and short prose, the cumulative series provides a multifaceted firsthand perspective of this devastating yet intriguing time and place.

Travails Book Series on exhibit at Sullivan Galleries in Chicago

Things Veschi Objects

Typography based on cyrillic alphabet designed by Cehonin, Russia, 1925.

All Are Not Cooks That Walk With Long Knives

Exchange No. 044640

Photography by Christine Atkinson.

Kimry Response

Photography by Nick Foster.

Means of Communication


Travails book series available to view at the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection
Travails books series awarded Best Graphic Design by Edition Lidu and exhibited in Prague
Travails book series Judges’ Pick at Archive13 and included in the Chicago Design Archive