Soviet Ukrainian photography
of the 1930s/2020-…
Photographic installation of Polaroid images.
This project aims to assemble an archive of Ukrainian vernacular photographs that were caught in the sight of Soviet imperial optics and either destroyed (often, along with their owners) or taken out of their original context and attached to criminal cases. All these descriptions and occasional images originate from archival cases of people repressed in the 1930s in Soviet Ukraine. They belong to the part of Ukrainian culture that was destroyed by the Soviet colonial regime leaving only void behind. These are mere traces of what was once somebody’s family photos and, at the same time, traces of the colonial gaze itself which was the last to look at these photos and had imprinted in them.
A shorter version of the project with some of the pictures is available in a publication.
Message me if you want me to send the full version with all the images.
The project was made with support from CEC ArtsLink and Open Place.
Various IDs 8 pcs., various letters 140 pcs., notepads 4 pcs., case folder with personal documents 1 pcs., photographs one pcs., notebooks with notes 5 pcs., cigarette box with a note in a foreign language, book 1 pcs., various foreign formal letters with photo-graphs 8 pcs., various notes 3 pcs., as having no connections to the crime committed by K. and not being pieces of evidence — are to be destroyed.
Question: Did you photograph the poor people?
Answer: Yes, I took a picture of one poor person to have a document of the hardships of life in 1933.
* It is a reference to the Holodomor of the 1932-1933 — a forced hunger on the territory of Soviet Ukraine that caused between 2.4 and 7.5 million deaths.
When domes were being removed from the cathedral at Lenin street 25, citizen K. was taking with his camera pictures of the cathedral before the removal of domes and also the moment when the workers were removing them.