Dormitories are the only type of social housing which exists in Ukraine nowadays. They were constructed during the Soviet epoch to host students and to offer the freedom of movement in the vast country it used to be. Since that time, buildings and living conditions haven’t changed that much but Ukraine and its people did. I photograph dormitories because they represent the confrontation of the soviet heritage and the new pro-Western generation. This ambiguity attracts me and it represents the change of mentality in the country which moves towards globalisation.
In 2014 the world heard about The Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine and since then the western media were writing about Ukrainian youth through the prism of techno culture, raves, poverty and war. When I started this project I wanted to depict the generation born after 2000 as it is. Students who live in dormitories are young, smart and full of hope. They have just left their families and moved into their first independent housing. They stay in their small rooms for only 3 or 4 years, yet they decorate them with a personal touch. All these buildings which look cold and unified from outside hide diverse rooms that unite soviet interiors and belongings, drawings and posters of each student. Neither family house, nor a rented flat, dormitories are the place of transition from teenage years to an adult life.
Born in 1996 and raised in Odesa, Ukraine, Daria is currently based between Kyiv and Paris, where she is finishing her Master’s in Photography at École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs. Human life is the core of Daria’s artistic practice. She explores connections between past and present focusing on the young generation of Ukrainians and the cultural context they live in. Her photographs were published by international media and exposed at group exhibitions in France, the UK, Belgium and Ukraine. Daria works both individually and as a part of Join The Cool creative collective.