My friend Matt, an academic and professor with a penchant for post-communist places, decided to join me for a few days during my shoot trip to Lviv. While most people I know haven’t even heard of this place, he’d actually been here, and elsewhere in Ukraine several times, so he fancied a look around to see what’s changed. And certainly like much of the former Soviet Union, it has changed rather a lot. Though while the city centre is rather timeless, some places feel a world away. In this shoot with local boy Marko K., we went to a complex of abandoned industrial buildings (discussed further in our article, A Post-Apocalyptic Picnic).
One of the problems with being a photographer is that you’ve got all this crap to carry, such as lenses, extra batteries, SD cards, reflectors, lens brushes and cleaners, etc. I get annoyed with rummaging through bags so I tend to keep whatever I can in my pockets. The problem is that when I pull out a lens, let’s say, my keys will fall out at the same time.
Anyway, being our first issue, budgets were especially tight, so I also appreciated Matt’s share of accommodation costs. He paid me cash in Euros, which I shoved into a pocket, just as I left to shoot Marko K. Of course, somewhere on that shoot I lost the money. The landscape was scattered with loose bricks and general post-industrial detritus. Big pieces of machinery and anything of value was gone, but often you’d find an old bottle (usually vodka), a book (often a manual), a shoe (sensible rather than stylish)… It got me thinking what else may be buried amongst the rubble along with my €20. And of how this place would have looked when it was a working factory, what the faces of the workers looked like, just how it all felt before it fell apart.
See more of the Marko K. shoot and more of Lviv in Elska Magazine Issue (01), available in select shops or online at www.elskamagazine.com
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