OLD KHATA BOOK is currently out of stock. You can order the book, and we will send it in August.

Project management
Anna Ilchenko, Svitlana Oslavska

Photos Anna Ilchenko
Design, layout, art direction Kateryna Smoliarova
Editing (Ukrainian texts) Anna-Maria Volosatska
English translation Kate Tsurkan
Final proofreading Yuliia Kolesnikova
Prepress image processing Volodymyr Havrysh

200 pages
217х187 mm


OLD KHATA BOOK is a photo book about houses and people. Between 2020 and 2023, photographer Anna Ilchenko and journalist Svitlana Oslavska traveled across nearly one hundred villages in Ukraine, spanning from the regions of Zakarpattia to Luhansk and from Chernihiv to Kherson. Due to the full-scale invasion, some of those villages are now under Russian occupation. The book includes selected photos and interview fragments conducted during three years of expeditions. 

It is not an encyclopedia of architectural styles, although readers will notice the assorted traditions of house construction in different regions. The book documents a vanishing layer of Ukrainian culture eroded by time and war. It is a documentary essay at the intersection of photography and literature, blending reportage and visual storytelling. While speaking with homeowners, the authors often began with questions about their dwellings, but the conversations evolved into monologues about life. 

Therefore, this book goes beyond the scope of architecture and ethnography, delving into broader topics such as how Ukrainians perceive home, beauty, life, and death. It does not exhaust this subject but invites further exploration.

English translations of the texts can be found at the end of the book.

About the authors

Anna Ilchenko is a Ukrainian documentary photographer, videographer, and documentary filmmaker. Her interests are focused on human stories and documentary way of telling them. Between 2022 and 2023 she has been working on a documentary “Looking for the past” for Zeppers production about a large family that flees from the war, searching for home. 

Svitlana Oslavska is a Ukrainian reporter and writer. Beyond Old Khata Book, Svitlana is an author of two reportage books: a collection of reportages from Turkey and about her hometown Sievierodonetsk in the east of Ukraine. Since 2022, she has been working with The Reckoning Project to document Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine. 

Anna and Svitlana are sisters, who were born and raised in Sievierodonetsk, which is now occupied by Russia. Since 2020, they have been working together as a creative collective old khata project.