Misha Friedman October 24, 2012Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Ukraine.
Coal Miners, Eastern Ukraine 2010
Misha Friedman (b. 1978, Moldova) received his masters from the London School of Economics in 2000. From 2005-2010 he worked for Médecins Sans Frontières documenting the humanitarian crisis in Northern Uganda, urban violence in Nigeria, Kala Azar in India, and civil war in Darfur. His recent projects deal with corruption in Russia, the tuberculosis epidemic in the former Soviet Union and illegal migration into the EU through Ukraine. Misha’s works have been recognized by: POYi, PDN’s 30, Critical Mass Top 50 and the Forward Thinking Museum — Artist of the year. His work has recently been published in: Le Monde Magazine, New York Times, Le Figaro and Human Rights Watch. Misha is represented by Cosmos Photo in Europe and is based in New York.
About the Photograph:
“Inspired by German and French Romanticism, this ongoing project from Ukraine is my attempt to show how Nature and Man have learned to live within the industrial complex. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, much of Eastern Ukraine ended up ruined. Many mines and massive factories are lying abandoned, people are unemployed or earn just enough to survive and nature is taking over in full force. For decades this land was a symbol of Soviet rationalism and victory over nature, but it did not take long for all of that to crumble, leaving behind ruined lives. I like this image because to a certain extent it goes against how third-world coal miners are normally presented: perpetually unhappy and miserable, forgetting that most of the time they have other emotions. Here, for instance, we enjoyed a good joke and some seriously poisonous moonshine.”