A Change of Scenery
In 2017 Kiev was named 2nd most expensive city in the world considering the monthly rent cost and average monthly pay in Bloomberg report. It also has ranked 131st out of 140 cities in the Economist’s Global Liveability Report 2017 with the incredibly rapid decline in positions over the past five years. Most importantly, it has been 4 years since Kiev lives in the aftermath of Revolution which erupted in the Independence Square in late 2013. Those events were widely covered by press around the world and have changed the Country and are still dramatically affecting its present. Protests and riots have become a norm for Kiev’s residents.
Despite this, the immigration to Kiev still substantially exceeds the quantity of those leaving the capital. Kiev is constantly experiencing the housing shortage, which is a perpetual theme for conversations. The year 2017 is also officially the last year of a service life of Khrushchyovka - iconic cheap mass housing built in early 1960’s where most of the people in the Soviet Union were living and, in fact still are. Although officially it has to be destroyed or redeveloped there are no signs of such a process to start. At the same time, plenty of new housing is being built and advertised ubiquitously. But the social gap in Ukraine and, especially in Kiev is incredibly big, so those apartments are not affordable for the most of those arriving from the periphery.
The urban fabric of Kiev is an odd combination of the remnants of Soviet past, luxury new estates, churches and chaotically scattered booths and architectural structures. After living abroad for the last 2 years, those visual qualities of today caught my eye more than ever before, and I came to Kiev to capture the aesthetics of this vague period of transformation.
The scenery of change is about how the visual aspects of Kiev reflect its controversial past and present. Superposition of monumental and strictly planned Soviet testimonies and today’s shambolic developments appears as a kind of allegory of Ukraine’s contemporaneity.
It is an ongoing project..