(A Post-Apocalyptic Picnic… with Marko K from Lviv)
My first night in Lviv was almost fully sleepless. Perhaps it was the excitement of the upcoming packed day of shooting, or perhaps it was the noisy and too-cold air conditioner, but the next morning required more than the usual dose of coffee. Fortunately there was a café right beneath my block of flats (there are cafés everywhere in Lviv, perhaps on par with London or New York on a per capital basis). I waited there at an outside table until Marko and then my assistant arrived.
Lviv is ridiculously beautiful, like over the top pretty, so it was appropriate that the first shoot wasn’t in the gingerbread house village of an old town, but in a complex of abandoned factories and warehouses just south of the city centre. This was an industrial centre that probably hadn’t turned its cogs since the Soviet flag flew over this place almost thirty years ago.
Both Marko K and my assistant Andriy were concerned about my choice of location, fearing readers of Elska Magazine would get an unfavourable impression of Lviv. I can appreciate their worries, but of course not all of Issue 01’s shoots would be in post-communist wastelands. And besides, what’s more beautiful than crumbled bricks and broken glass as they are overtaken by vines and weeds in a resurgence of nature?
And the light was amazing on this day. It shone through bare holes that used to hold doors and windows. I could have stayed all day. What a place to have a post-apocalyptic picnic. Just bring a picnic basket full of wine, sandwiches, fruits, and syringes for the inevitable tetanus shot required after sitting on a rusty nail.
See more of Marko K and read his story in Elska Magazine issue (01) Lviv