Alban Kakulya shows in his work “Environment and Security in Crimea” the homeland of the Crimean Tatars. In 1944 the tatars were deported to the exile under the rule of Stalin. He accused them of the collaboration with the nazis. 200.000 Tatars lost their home in one night. Many of them died and the population of the Crimean Tatars decreased dramatically. Not till the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990’s they were allowed to come back to their actual homeland. A lot of Tatars, also from the second Generation, decided to move back to the crim. But their formal home was now occupied by Russian and Ukrainian habitants.

Going over some old archival photographs, I couldn’t get rid of the strange feeling for some reason: people lived here their life and then died. Older you get, less emotion the photos cause. But the existential horror groves stronger. A few days ago I read that the Crimean authorities „banned the electronic music festival “Kazantip ” because of numerous violations of the law, including a lack of fire-prevention and anti-terrorism measurements.”

Rafal Milach - Black sea of concrete


The fertile Ukraine – Hitler dreamt of it but it fell prey to Stalin. It was him and the likes who planted this land. They did what they could. They are long gone but the fertile land of Ukraine continues to yield its crop – subsequent lumps of concrete. Its surface is covered with cracks and rust-colored patches but it is still firmly set in the ground.

Two thirds of the Crimean population are dependent on the tourism industry. For many years, the Black Sea has been attracting the attention of visitors from across the region. After the annexation of the peninsula, however, tourism plunged into a deep crisis.

After the Soviet Union’s collapse, Cossacks have been reviving their tradition mainly in Ukraine and Russia. In Crimea, a number of active Cossack communities have been spring up in the decade.

A Hannover based photographer Moritz Küstner has been tempted by the Eastern Europe for a long time. He is curious about the influences of the Soviet Union’s collapse on a life of different generations. He started learning Russian already at school following his fascination with the region. Initially he was interested in the annexation of Crimea as so but later focused on the destiny of a minority group leaving on the peninsula – Crimean Tatars.


@ Moritz Küstner from “The silence is the sound of fear”

Crimea – who has not heard of it lately? In the good old days it was associated with champagne, Tatars, and the Black Sea. But since March 2014 the geopolitical rumble, culminating in a referendum, occupied the news and our minds.

In order to commemorate the events free of any judgement, OSTLOOK will present “crimea.raw“ throughout the whole month of March, in attempt to grasp the raw soul of this peninsula. Be prepared for some loud techno, empty beaches and artsy essays!