“New Horizon”: The Post-Soviet Landscape Through The Lens Of Rafal Milach
Rafal Milach is a documentary photographer based in Warsaw, Poland. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, Poland, and the Institute for Creative Photography (ITF) in Opava, Czech Republic. For more than ten years he has been working on transition issues in Russian-speaking countries and the CEE region. This work resulted in the book 7 Rooms (Kehrer Verlag, 2011) and such essays as “The Grey” (2002), “Wunderland” (2006), “Disappearing Circus” (2008), and “Black Sea of Concrete” (2009).
Rafal Milach has spent years and most of his income figuring out why he is drawn to certain geographical territories. Is it a search for a sense of belonging? Most photographers never come to understand a place they are drawn to. But they must love it and all that comes with it: its people, food, drunkenness, taxis, music, and landscape.
Milach has been haunted by Russia, and by seven people in particular. He spent six years with those people in three cities: Moscow, Yekaterinburg, and Krasnoyarsk. As thirty-somethings, they are intermediates between the ineradicable Soviet mentality and the increasingly anxious Russian mind of today. In Russian, a language in which there is a separate word for everything, the word ‘country’ means both the territory and the government.
Milach’s search is a fascinating and subtle journey into a loss of direction, into a sad and beautiful connection with Russia.