(€20 and Other Things Lost… with Marko K from Lviv)

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 Marko K and read his story in Elska Magazine issue (01) Lviv


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