Reportages often come about by chance. This was the case of the Transnistrian reportage by Kosuke Okahara (photo) in LFI 1/2014, available December 17th.
He was sitting with a friend in Chișinău, the capital of neighbouring Moldova, studying a map. He wanted to find a remote region in Transnistria that he might visit in order to study the traditional way of life of the people. Having been born in Japan in 1980, he had no personal experience or memory of real socialism. The only thing he knew about it was what he had learnt at school. Lenina, the name of a village in Transnistria, caught his attention – he had found his destination at last!
What he was totally unaware of were the local customs and practices. When he was visiting an old man to take some pictures, the man offered him some of his home-made vodka. “The vodka was outstanding, but very strong,” Kosuke remembers. “Because I was taking pictures, I certainly didn’t want to get drunk, but he kept on filling up my glass. I decided I just had to put my best foot forward and I was soon as legless as he was. The atmosphere became easy and relaxed – perfect for taking photos.”