The fall of the Soviet Union 25 years ago liberated 15 Soviet republics. Since 1991, post-Soviet political elites in each of these independent countries have been engaged in nation building. Some countries remained within Russia’s sphere of influence, whilst others like Georgia and Ukraine have tried to break away to become part of Western Europe – both paying a heavy price with wars in 2008 and 2014. Justyna Mielnikiewicz’s photography explores borders as ever-changing spheres of influence that overlap physical markers on the map. Her imagery documents life on the European frontier and delves into symbolic meanings and reconstructed historical narratives of these borderlands, which contribute to forming national identity. Mielnikiewicz’s work is on display as part of the international festival of photography Cortona On The Move in Tuscany until 1 October.
Justyna Mielnikiewicz, The Meaning of a Nation – Russia and its Neighbours: Georgia and Ukraine, until 1 October, part of Cortona On The Move, Tuscany.
1. Copyright: Justyna Mielnikiewicz.