Festival of Memory
Festival of Memory is an exploration of the people of a small city in southeastern Ukraine called Melitopol. Melitopol is a multicultural city that, prior to the Russian annexation of Crimea, was known as the gateway to the Crimean Peninsula. In August 2015, we worked with volunteer local residents to make their portraits and pair them with objects or places of particular importance to their memories. We also captured oral histories in which each individual spoke in-depth about why these memories are so important to them personally.
Taken together, the images and the stories associated with them (which are available by clicking on the lower right-hand corner of each diptych) represent a very intimate look at the collective consciousness of this city. They are also a trenchant reminder of the surprising level of diversity that is always present in Ukraine.
We also had unique access to the only penal colony for young women in Ukraine, which is located in Melitopol. We created a similar project focused on the women who were imprisoned there. You can view this project, titled Memoria, here.
Both projects were funded by Tandem and organized by Yulia Kostereva and Yuriy Kruchak of Open Place in Kyiv, Ukraine. They were also carried out with the exceptionally welcoming and kind cooperation of the Melitopol Museum of Local Lore.