“In 1940s, the workers of one of the mines in Katowice initiated gatherings in the regional House of Culture where they started to do paintings. It marked a shift in their mystical and spiritual practices which had little in common with plastic art. Later, they were known as the so-called ‘naïve artists of the Yaniv group’.”
Many Romanian Roma women identify themselves with such descriptions. In the past fortune-telling had a strong tradition within many travelling Roma groups wandering across the European area. Fortune telling abilities were primarily attributed to, in the main, older women, undoubtedly for their lifelong experiences. Their potential clients were to be found anywhere in the streets of the villages and towns where their caravans happened to have stopped. In my photographic collection I try to record the consequences of modernisation, which has inherently transformed this profession, which in itself balances on the thin divide between mysticism and showmanship for the client.
Baku, Azerbaijan is the largest city in the Caucasus region. Being a city founded upon oil, it went through several oil booms accompanied by massive growth and construction. City Hall’s will to reconstruct the post-Soviet city using its own understanding of aesthetics led to a forced demolition of “outdated” buildings, to the detriment of those wishing to preserve cultural heritage and ancestral homes.
Marat Dilman is young, yet, promising contemporary photographer from Almaty, Kazakhstan. His recognizable and elegant body of work includes such aspects like national identity of Post Soviet Kazakhstan, a construction of new visual language that ideology uses to interact with the society, technological impact on archaical or semi-archaical symbolism like ornaments, and portraits in connection to internet cables, pop culture and, of course, beauty.
OSTLOOK representing contemporary international photography from the former Soviet and East European countries. Within the framework of the 7th Hamburg Photography Triennale 2018 projects made by the 25 authors are united for the first time at the exhibition – part of a Satellite Show Programme – curated by Jewgeni Roppel. The projects displayed reflect a broad range of conceptual photography, documentary and reportage and do contemplate social, historical as well as personal and political transformations.
Maja Wirkus & Eric Pries
The series has been realized in Yakutsk, in the far east of Russia – the coldest city in the world. Solely, this superlative gives birth to images in someone ́s mind, images of bleakness, exotic, maybe even archaic.
“Lenin lives! Lenin is with you!” Since the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, this hymn has been more than an ever-present slogan. Throughout the 20th century, the figure of the revolutionary leader was omnipresent. But as Russia prepares to celebrate the centennial of the October Revolution, Ukraine, the other pillar of the Soviet Empire, will have none of him. Summum of decommunization: as of late 2016, none of the 5,500 statues that formerly dotted the territory is still standing.
According to ancient legends, vampires appeared on the Earth at the same time as the first people. They changed, mutating and imitating. If we interpret vampirism wider than a myth about aristocratic bloodsuckers, we may assume that each of us carries an element which, unrevealed up to a certain time, is able to turn any human into a savage monster.
This story is about those of us with whom life just happens. It takes place when the connection between cause and consequence is no longer coherent. I am documenting a naïve visual subculture of a public space, which has become widely spread throughout Ukraine after a fall of the Soviet Union faced globalization.
Four months in Kyrgyzstan, portraying this country on the outskirts of global headlines with a large format camera, through faces and landscapes. This work highlights the generational disparities between those nostalgic of an abolished USSR order and modern westernized youths born after the fall.