A guide to the New East
Photography

Ukrainian Soviet mosaics: one final look at the spectacular street art of the past

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Until recently, it was not unusual to come across bright, eye-catching masterpieces in mosaic on the streets of Ukraine, gracing residential blocks, facades of school, houses of culture, metro stations and bus stops. As with other Soviet relics outlawed by the Ukrainian government in April 2015, including the dismantling of a whopping 1,320 statues of Lenin, mosaics too have gradually begun to vanish across the country. Yevgen Nikiforov’s new book Decommunized: Ukrainian Soviet Mosaics, released by DOM and Osnovy Publishing, brings together over 1,000 of these stunning artefacts, which the Kiev-born photographer has been shooting over the last three years in 109 different cities in Ukraine. He found that those mosaics which have not already been destroyed are lost in the visual noise of post-Soviet cities. “Soviet monumental art had become a mere backdrop, as integral as the air we breathe, and equally invisible,” writes Nikiforov, who hopes his book will restore mosaic art to its former glory. Join us on Thursday 26 October 2017 at London’s Calvert 22 Bookshop, where you can hear Nikiforov talk about Ukraine’s recent “decommunisation” laws and how he managed to hunt down the last surviving mosaics, as well as preview more of the book’s stunning photography. The event is free, with a suggested £5 donation. You can purchase tickets and find out more here.

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