The youth of Transnistria in the latest edition of Splash and Grab magazine

The youth of Transnistria in the latest edition of Splash and Grab magazine

2 September 2016

In the latest edition of photography magazine Splash and Grab, the themes of identity and migration are put to the fore. Who do you think you are? How will changes in your country change your identity?

The cover story for this issue is a photo series from the breakaway region of Transnistria, shot by German photographer Julia Autz. In the two months she spent in Transnistria, immersing herself in the lives and culture of its young people in particular, Autz came away with the feeling that the region was divided between the pull of the east and that of the west.

“The question about their identity is very interesting and not easy to answer,” Autz says. “There is a huge discrepancy in views between the young and older generations, of how it feels to live in a country with such an uncertain future.”

From shots of suburban tower blocks to groups of friends relaxing on the shore of a river, the series is an attempt to provide a counterpoint to the dominant, largely negative images of corruption and Russian militarisation usually associated with the region.

“Rarely do you hear something about normal peope and their daily lives. It was therefore very important for me to show that,” she says. “It felt like being on a journey through time, back to the Soviet Union. There is a very special atmosphere in Transnistria exacerbated by the country’s endless nostalgia for the Soviet past.”