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STORIES EAST OF THE RIVER Истории с востока от реки


‘Stories East of the River’ takes an intimate look at teenagers growing up in the isolated and unknown country of Transdniester; the disputed sovereignty of Moldova in Eastern Europe. The region is only a narrow sliver of land which is naturally separated from Moldova by the Dniester River. Governed defacto since the dying days of the Soviet Union, in September 2011 the tiny Republic celebrated 21 years of independence yet still remains unrecognised by the international community. Breaking away from Moldova was seen as a means to safeguard Russian ethnicity and secure a better future, but the self-elected PMR [Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic] has seemingly only made time stand still. International trade is restricted, few jobs and opportunities exist and ongoing difficulties with obtaining expensive visas limit economic migration. Many relics of the Soviet Union’s utopian dream still hang in the air, evidenced by crumbling architecture and the decayed splendour of deserted and disused cultural institutes such as theatres and cinemas. So then it seems the youth of Transdniester have become a jilted generation let down by socialist dreams. Moving away from their external world interior spaces start to echo some of the young’s psychological states and social concerns, as with little on offer in a place supposed to be called home, many look afar. Access to the Internet feeds such desires to move away and to emulate aspects of western living, but a lack of vibrant and modern alternatives locally, reduces such desires to idealism; as the uncertainty of Transdniester’s cultural and political future, merely continues their waiting game for change. So although ‘Stories East of the River’ is about a particular place and its youth caught up in an on-going political and economic crisis the images try to act as universal stories of isolation, fragility and of people’s hopes and desires for something a little better.


CHLOE BORKETT

STORIES EAST OF THE RIVER Истории с востока от реки


1] Rybnitsa is the second largest steel manufacturing city in Transdniester. Due to political difficulties many factories are closed or limit production. [Nov 2010]

6] House of Culture, Rybnitsa. 7] Dima, 22 lives with his Grandmother as his parents moved to work in Sochi on the black sea, southern Russia. [Nov 2010]

2] Luda is 21 and a trainee teacher. [Jan 2011] 3] Julia’s flat in Rybnitsa where she lives alone with her dog Kopner. Her Mother currently lives in Turkmenistan and her boyfriend is in Siberia. [April 2011]

8] Private house in the village of Yerzhovo near Rybnitsa. 9] Looking out across the Dniester River. [Nov 2010]

4] A soviet cafe in the northern city of Karmenka. [Nov 2010] 5] Serge, 19 year old student who lives with his Mother in Rybnitsa. [April 2011]

10] Oxana, 20 years old and studies journalism. She hopes in the future to move to Russia to pursue her career. [Nov 2010]


PHOTO INDEX

11] Disused Theatre in the northern city of Karmenka. [Nov 2010] 12] Unknown couple met in a private house in Rybnitsa. [April 2011]

17] Rybnitsa. [2010]

13] Victor, 19 by the Dniester River which separates Transdneister from Moldova. 14] House of Culture, Rybnitsa. [April 2011]

18] Like young people all over the world in Transdniester most hang out in parks. The difference here is there are few alternatives. [April 2011]

15] The district of Valchenko, Rybnitsa. 16] Olga, 19 years old. She studies languages at University and dreams of living abroad. [Nov 2010]

19] Ira, 17 years old. [April 2011] 20] Rybnitsa. [Feb 2011]


PHOTOGRAPHY Chloe Borkett e] cborkett@hotmail.com m] 07725 192 687 www.chloeborkett.co.uk


Stories East of the River