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ONE PHOTO – ONE STORY

30.06.2022

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In 1990, shortly before the end of the USSR, the photographer met the Slakar family, and captured poignant images of their life in Ukraine.

“This is an image I took back in April 1992. It’s from a wedding reception and the two people posing are the best man and the bridesmaid. We came across the party as we made our way home one evening. We could hear the loud music ahead of us and we went to investigate. Victor Slakar, a local coal miner whom I was staying with, knew the family, as they were neighbours. We were very quickly ushered in, handed plates piled with food and a large glass of vodka.

We weren’t the only uninvited guest welcomed in. As the music played into the night more neighbours came to join the dancing, singing, food and lots of vodka. Everyone and anyone was welcome. This was the format of the others weddings and social gatherings I attended; neighbours were always welcome. We left very late and very drunk.

I started visiting Donetsk in Ukraine a few weeks after it declared itself an independent state. My idea was to record the changes that would inevitably come with the collapse of the Soviet Union. I went back several times over the next four years, as the country limped from one economic crisis to another. Now the country faces an almost existential crisis for its very existence, as the Russians destroy the Dombass in order to supposedly save it. We can only hope this madness ends as soon as possible.”

Text: Adam Hinton; Photo: © Adam Hinton/Panos

Adam Hinton’s series is presented in a comprehensive portfolio in LFI issue 5/2022.

Adam Hinton

When Hinton was 15 years old, he bought camera equipment with the first instalment of a government compensation plan following a knife attack (the attacker had something against punks). From that point on, his focus was photography. He studied Photojournalism at Richmond-upon-Thames College in London, and at Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham. Hinton is represented by the Panos agency.

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