Horaivka

Ongoing since 2009

Series of 300 photographs

Horaivka, deep inside Ukraine: home to 520 inhabitants, a nursery and a school, a post office, a village club, two convenience stores and medical practice with two nurse practitioners. From here it is 338km to Lviv, 433km to Kyiv, 501km to Odessa and 992km to Donetsk. The last three kilometres of the road leading to the village are not asphalted; over the past 20 years, the asphalting of this road has been the most popular campaign promise of all local council candidates, regardless of party affiliations.

This village, almost untouched by the processes of globalisation, is a great place to explore the everyday life of common people in the post-Soviet Ukraine. I photographed the residents in their familiar environment, children in the nursery and at school. The nursery in particular has many symbols which reference Ukrainian culture, as well as the Soviet era. Its playroom has a traditional Ukrainian village playhouse, furnished with typical pottery and embroidery. The playground itself speaks of both the turbulent and glorious times in the country’s past: the playground´s facilities are built in the form of rockets (in memory of the first manned space flight with Yuri Gagarin).