Four series of photographs - visual poems - from Ukraine

Expectations has been published as a book by Kehrer Verlag. This accompanying website contains extracts and additional materials.


The idea of fortune isn't so much about winning the lottery, it is about the process of waiting, of enduring, about the possibility rather than its fulfilment. Ukraine is in a perpetual state of expectancy, of waiting for better times. Sometimes any change at all can seem preferable to none.

Today a tug of war is going on - of aspirations against memory, politics against hopes. Those aspirations are on the one hand of closer acceptance with the rest of the world versus a struggle with the humiliation of loss of empire and economic collapse. The latter encourages a return to a Dostoyevskian national idea based on pride in the achievements and sacrifices of the past.

Ukraine is the child of a failed utopian dream - of collapsed socialism. But it is also a place where, despite the often absurdity of everyday life for many people who live there, a strength and sincerity of personal relationships and shared experience of living through the difficult transformations of the '90's form strong bonds, where you may dive into intense philosophical discussion within minutes of meeting a stranger of friend, a place from which there is a lot to learn.

These visual poems have echoes of Ukrainian and Russian literature and music, of history, recollections of personal experiences, bureaucracy, meetings with old friends and chance encounters with strangers, places with resonance, and how life has (or hasn't) changed over the last 20 or so years.