Searching for Bessarabia
Searching for Bessarabia is a journey in search of identity past and present. Drifting for two weeks around Europe's poorest country I attempted to find visual traces of Soviet Bessarabia, (a historical region today largely found within the Republic of Moldova) and come to know the fascinating Moldovan people and their fertile flat lands
Minsk: A superficial Look
Minsk remains a showcase for an infamous dictator who has kept landlocked Belarus from throwing away its Soviet yoke. On the surface it looks a charm. Well-groomed and maintained with manicured parks and streets kept spotlessly clean. But although it is relatively stable there is little social or economic progress and dissent is hardly tolerated. Opposition to "the last dictator of Europe" has been brutally crushed and two attempted revolutions have failed. Youngsters must do army service and many join the police who get amongst the highest state salaries available; twice that of doctors and teachers. Today the future looks bleak for Belarusians living under the iron grip of President Lukashenko, who for over 20 years has carefully avoided conflict with the Kremlin and turned the country into a sleepy Soviet Union time capsule
A New Ukrainian Army
In the wake of Russia's 2014 invasion of eastern Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, Ukraine rushes to modernise its army and fight for its very existence as an independent state.
The Maidan Uprising
Ukrainians fight and win a bloody months-long revolution against a Russian-backed Ukrainian government that had ignored their democratically declared wish to integrate with Europe instead of coming under permanent Russian control Hundreds lose their lives in the clashes with government forces who use brutal force to try to crush the unrest. But in dramatic and tragic scenes the tenacious Ukrainians prevail. Just hours after his heavily armed forces retreat Yanukovych escapes to Russia as Moscow sends thousands of Russian soldiers alongside well-paid mercenaries in a pre-planned invasion and occupation of Crimea and Ukraine's poor eastern industrial region of Donbas
A gentrification project with large shopping mall decimates Budapest's famous 8th district Gypsy quarter and despite protests and appeals dozens of late 19th century period buildings are razed to the ground. A once thriving Gypsy community is largely destroyed. Hundreds of Roma are forced to move out from the crumbling social housing they had lived in for decades. Many are left homeless and those lucky enough to be provided with alternative social housing must move far away or even to another Hungarian region. Despite being the European Union’s biggest ethnic minority with a population of 10 million, the Roma are badly underrepresented and they continue to suffer a range of hate crimes including assault and attacks against their homes and multiple forms of daily discrimination. In Hungary in particular they are regularly scapegoated for any societal problems and are the main target of racist abuse in pro-government media.
08.08.08. Day of Eight: Friday the 8th of August 2008. 8 portraits of 8 random Hungarians in Ferencvaros, the 8th district of Budapest