Public space of bus stops, letter to childhood friend, and more - what next Ukrainian photo books will be aboutDmitriy Krakovich, curator of Kyiv Photo Book festival
In January of this year Kyiv Photo Book festival together with Ya Gallery Art Center for second time in Ukraine conducted review of photo book projects, or dummy review in other words. Any author with interesting idea of art or documentary photo book could test their thoughts and get advise from experts in fields of photography, photo book design and book publishing.
Six authors were selected for the review with their projects: Victoria Likholyot, Maryna Brodovska, Oleksandr Naselenko, Oksana Meister, Liubov Durakova, and Iurii Lisovskyi. Some of them came to Kyiv for review from other cities or even from other countries.
The experts on the review were art critic Viktoriia Myronenkо, designer Sasha Bychenko and publisher Elias Zhekalov. The best way impressions from the review could be described in words of Sasha Bychenko who wrote later that viewing the six projects on this review could be compared to attending a good exhibition.
Despite good impressions from majority of the projects experts gave a lot of critical feedback to authors. We will tell now about three projects out from the six, the ones that the experts collegially consider developed most.
Oksana Meister researches bus stops in Ukraine. She looks at them not only as at architectural forms but she sees them as public spaces. Walls of the stops are a platform for public communication. They present certain messages or, possibly, conflicts in geographical or historical context.
By this time she has around 650 photos of different bus stops from seven regions of the country.
Maryna Brodovska works on ironic but, at the same time, very candid book. Taking as example her personal story of relationships with a childhood friend, she raises the concern that we are loosing our close friends.
There are new circumstances coming in life, and close people are disappearing. We are being satisfied by illusion of communication and “friendship” with hundreds of not really known people in social networks, and we loose the true intimate communication with really important ones.
The coming book by Oleksandr Naselenko is a visual essay with a central character, a girl, who lives in residential district of a small provincial town, on the edge with a steppe. She has no home or family, she is drug addicted and is suffering from schizophrenia. She is outsider of the district.
But she is also a social marker, a “litmus test”. People are afraid of her. They tell absolutely false stories about her, which are born from the fear. She is always surrounded by group of stray dogs, and the dogs are the book characters as well.
If look broader, this is a story about marginalization of post-Soviet residential districts, about lack of responsibility for public spaces, about social isolation, and how the nature takes back its territory from not enough urbanized places.
The article is originally published in Ukrainian at Fotoafisha