In Ukraine in the 1990’s, following the collapse of the USSR, soviet passports must be replaced by Ukrainian documents. In order to speed up the process, the newly independent State decided to send photographers into the homes of those who could not travel. In his native town of Luhansk, in the South-East of the country, Alexander Chekmenevwas one of those photographers. Next the neutral pictures on white background destined for the official documents, the artist documented these surprising shootings behind the scenes. As a result he captured genuine historical moments. The photographer was taken aback by the absurd decision of a state looking for legitimacy to provide people unable to move with travel documents. Alexander Chekmenev offers us a powerful and poignant visual testimony of this period of time. His series was published in a book entitled “Passport”, shortlisted for the Arles Author book Award 2017.

All pictures by Alexander Chekmenev