A guide to the New East
Photography

Night lives: photographing a new generation around Minsk

Share on LinkedIn Share via Email

Born and bred in Belarus, photographer Aleksey Naumchik captures the contemporary youth of Minsk with their parties and nocturnal ramblings in his series Y Minsk. By doing so he shows another side to a country that is often labelled “Europe's last dictatorship”. “Looking at documentary projects about Belarus I always had the feeling that I couldn’t see myself in them,” he explains. “Cliches that represent Belarus as a dictatorship, a closed country with a Soviet past, create a picture which is very hard to relate to. I see recently how the people around me and the city are changing. It could be capitalism, being close to Europe or just the new generation of young people — I can’t say, but there is a movement and change in the air.” Naumchik’s characters do what youngsters in any city would do: hang out, kiss, smoke, fall over and try to experience as much of life as possible. The city is hardly present in the series — just a ghostly background of empty parking lots and walls to lean against. “My characters also have a feeling of sadness and anxiety, a lack of future benchmarks,” says the photographer. “Who are we, the new generation? By capturing my friends and the city we live in I’m trying to answer this question.” 

More from Photography

My Soviet-Korean family

Archive photos show life between two cultures in communist Uzbekistan

Brazen youth

An ode to St Petersburg’s exuberant spirit

Kiev grunge

The photographer capturing timeless portraits of Ukrainian youth

Take me home

Eastern Europe through the eyes of a new generation

In bloom

See a generation blossom in Latvia’s magical wilderness

Post-Soviet photography

A film on visual culture in the New East

Comments