środa, 29 października 2014

Warsaw show

The final show of the project took place in Warsaw October 25th with Adam Pańczuk and our coorinatod Marzena Michałek-Dąbrowska talking about photos and whole process of our 2 years work in Caucasus. It was quite international with a group of artists from Ukraine coming.
Thank you all for your presence and all the support for the project. It looks like it is the end. But it is not our last word about former soviet republics

piątek, 24 października 2014

Moldova by Andrej Balco

'On the bank of Dniester'

Moldova is the poorest country in Europe. Following the vision of better future, more than one million of its inhabitants, i.e. 25 per cent, have left the country. It is this hard-earn currency flowing to Moldova from different parts of the world which helps to keep the Moldavian economy afloat. On the other side, the outflow of the most productive part of its inhabitants results into great stagnation and consequent dying out of entire villages; Molovata is such an example.

Once a flourishing village, Molovata is in a big depression now. Some years ago, a lyceum, which used to educate students from time immemorial, must have been closed due to lack of students. From the once prospering cooperative, just a torso remained.

Apparently, would it be located somewhere else, in a country at a luckier place, and not on the edge of two geopolitical fault lines, everything would be different. It would be a village crowded with tourists. Thanks to a dam built-up just after the WWII, the broadest stream of Dniester in the entire Moldova is located here.

“That’s amazing,” my contemplation was interrupted by Dima, who came back from England after two years. “I just couldn’t leave it forever,” he added.

Those, who remained here, are living their everyday lives in connection with nature. Their rhythm of life is determined by seasons of the year. Ploughing, sowing, harvesting…

Andrej Balco

czwartek, 23 października 2014

Armenia by Andrei Liankevich


I was totally shocked by the anarchic attitude to architecture in Armenia. Being totally free as they are, Armenians can easily construct any building of any shape and in any place. In Yerevan, you can easily find ever newer levels being placed atop houses without any official authorisation. And this causes an incredible cacophony of architectural styles across the country. That fact pushed me to photograph architecture based on total freedom of construction and architectural design.

Andrei Liankevich

środa, 22 października 2014

Moldova and Armenia by Agnieszka Rayss

The Victory Day / Moldova and Armenia

Millions of women in the Soviet army fought against the fascists. They filled various posts: nurses, sappers, aviators, tankers. Some of them still children, teenage girls.

The ones that still live today are around 90 years old. Their great home country no longer exists. They often live in countries which are not their place of birth or even their country of choice – after the fall of the USSR in 1991 a large part of the empire was replaced by more or less independent countries. No one asked my heroines whether they suddenly, at a mature age, wanted to give up their homeland for another. They exchanged their Soviet passports for new ones (sometimes keeping the old ones in drawers as souvenirs) and depending on the political situation some are still cogs in the patriotic propaganda machine, reap profits from it, or have become testimonies of an ambiguous history, belonging to an oppressive system.

The situation of women veterans of World War II in post-Soviet republics is doubly ambiguous today. They are women and women do not fight wars. War is a man’s game. Svetlana Alexievich wrote about women in the war in her book “War’s Unwomanly Face”. Their accounts did not resemble the war depicted in propaganda at all, which showed it as a war-time sacrifice, a heroic myth. For Alexievich’s subjects it was suffering, despair, physical and mental injury – they tear down the myth of a victorious war.

Agnieszka Rayss

wtorek, 21 października 2014

Armenia by Jan Brykczyński

The Gardeners

The Yerevan gardens have a long tradition and are deeply rooted in Armenian culture. Gaining importance as a source of fresh vegetables in times of crisis and becoming more amateur nature in better times, they make these shifts every time the political and economic situation in the Caucasus changes. They connect the city's inhabitants with nature but also they connect the citizens with each other. The structures built to make the plants grow go beyond the fences of the properties. They dissolve the borders between private and public space. They also dissolve the border between the city and the countryside, between culture and nature. Finally, they are also representations of the individual imagination of the idea of a garden. Gardens are places where time passes differently, closer to the yearly cycle of nature and one can feel this while spending time with the gardeners. 
Jan Brykczyński

niedziela, 19 października 2014

Georgia by Adam Pańczuk

For the most part, they were to be pictures of ceilings, windows – the scenery that immobile war veterans see in front of their eyes. Images they will be doomed to watch till the end of their lives. After calling Timur, who, as I had earned earlier, has no hands and legs, I knew my plan must fail. Being a helpful man, Timur proposed to pick me up with his car after work. As we were riding, he took off his artificial limbs to show me how to drive without them.
I began to wonder what force makes a man go to war. I was soon told that you cannot look away when they are attacking your mother. Your country is your mother.
I met many disabled veterans and none of them regretted their decision to fight. They were as determined to live normally as they had been determined to go to war. However, their lives changed radically. Most of them were unable to work or earn their living. They could not support their families, they lived on their own.
Malkhaz sold his house to buy proper artificial limbs made in Germany. The struggle to survive began. In the Caucasus, the presence of war is still felt intensely and visible in everyday lives. It is perceived in a completely different way here than in Western Europe. I tried to understand why it is so easy for people to take a decision that puts their lives at stake.  How can you, in a matter of seconds, change the shovel you are using to dig the foundations for your garage for a rifle and go to the front.
Adam Pańczuk