Eastreet is the only project of such a scale dedicated to street photography from the states of (broadly defined) Eastern Europe. Its first edition was held in 2013 in Lublin and proved to be a successful experiment showing that Eastreet project holds promise and it is worth, or even necessary to continue. Here comes the sequel—new places and characters, new authors, and new Eastreet.
Eastreet 2 is like a return to a foreign place, which is already a little bit familiar, but still surprising and pushes us to meet new spaces, new people, and new ideas that are not necessarily very different from ours. While organizing the first edition of the exhibition, we were wondering whether street photography is geographically determined. Will the East, so typical and native to us, remain the same in street photography? Are we supposed to meet wood fences, dray-carts, an unexpected end of the hard surface, and similar stereotypes instead of glass and aluminium, financial districts, elegance, and ‘Westernness’? Now that we have prepared the second edition of the Eastreet exhibition, all we know is that there is something special about both street photography of the region and what is being photographed.
We are once again surprised by the response of the photography community to the open call. We are impressed by the number of the submitted photographs, their quality, multitude of colours and diversity. Eastreet 2 comprises 57 photos in the main exhibition and 50 additional photos presented as a slideshow, which makes more than a hundred images shot by 82 photographers from 18 countries. The guiding principles have remained the same: we present spontaneous, unique and unposed photos of people and spaces of Eastern Europe. We employ the language and methods of street photography with unusual arrangements and unique situations captured in a single frame. We use them to continue the narrative we began a year ago, which once again leaves us with more questions than answers—concerning the genre’s boundaries and evolution, the space that surrounds us, the way we read it, tell about it and about ourselves.
The photos presented at the second edition of the exhibition feature more discrepancies and absurdities than ever. These are those moments and spaces that clash with one another instead of melting into a harmonic whole. Most of the photos capture something out of the common run, something that stands out, disturbes and intrigues. A lopsided pole, a sliding glass in a bus window or a crack in wood paneling. The realm of fauna brings more surprises: zebras, elephants and crocodiles. The presented space is often missing something: there is lack of water in a fountain, lack of ground around a lamppost, lack of a more solid construction, and lack of a proper environment for a Rolls-Royce. These photos contain something that we, as Easteners, got used to, so much so that we usually let it slide. Something that once photographed, moves beyond stereotypes and is elevated to the status of a symbol that portrays our environment and ourselves. It gives a local colour to the region and can be exotic to an outsider, to whom a journey through Eastreet may sometimes appear a trip through the looking glass.
We also have Eastern stories about desires and dreams out there, about hopes both fulfilled and lost. A smashed gondola-like bumper in Tirana, three boys, each one with his star in Ulmu, Moldova or an enormous penguin somewhere in the Polish province—all of this amuses us, but at the same time it resonates with our experiences and wishes.
Shared experiences of this kind unite photographers featured at Eastreet 2, who work in the neighbouring countries of Eastern Europe. For all the differences in stylistics, techniques and methods of work, their photos have a clear common denominator. This is something special, unique, unimitated and fugitive, like street photography itself. Something that cannot be explained. That’s why it is better to show it. At Eastreet 2.
Joanna Kinowska, Tomasz Kulbowski
Lublin, June 2014
Eastreet 2 included over 100 photographs: 56 in the exhibition and additional 50 in the slideshow.
The list of authors selected for the Eastreet 2 exhibition: Denis Abramov, Alexander Anufriev, Piotr Baczewski, Julia Belashova, Oliwia Beszczyńska, Dimitri Bogachuk, Piotr Bułhak, Damian Chrobak, Yulya Dahl, Maciej Dakowicz, Antonis Damolis, Dorin Goian, Wojciech Grzędziński, Mateusz Grybczyński, Jamie Howard, Tomer Ifrah, Anastasia Kichigina, Dimitris Makrygiannakis, Bartosz Mateńko, Valeria Mezentseva, Jan Michalko, Maria Novoselova, Jakub Oniszczuk, Mikhail Palinchak, Haris Panagiotakopoulos, Andreas Paradise, Michał Patroń, Jacek Petryszak, Łukasz Pieńkowski, Egor Rogalev, Marta Rybicka, Ilya Shtutsa, Giorgos Sifakis, Kostyantyn Smolyaninov, Michał Solarski, Stavros Stamatiou, Jacek Szust, Karol Szymkowiak, Vasile Catalin Tomoiaga, Ksenia Tsykunova, Aleksey Tudakov, Andrey Tulnov, Lukas Vasilikos, Ekaterina Vasilyeva, Imrich Veber, Spiros Zervoudakis, Marta Zgierska.
The list of authors included in the Eastreet 2 slideshow: Michał Adamski, Semyon Aleschenko, Denis Ananiev, Aleksander Anufriev, Maciej Biedrzycki, Yulya Dahl, Tomasz Desperak, Ilia Dubrovskiy, Dirk Gebhardt, Łukasz Grzybowski, Igor Iefimov, Tomer Ifrah, Blerta Kambo, Ruben Karapetyan, Alexander Kazantsev, Anastasia Kichigina, Ania Kłosek, Savvas Kois, Kristina Koroleva, Dorota Kuchna, Marek Lapis, Marina Makovetskaya, Joanna Mrówka, Dmitry Muzalev, Aleksey Naumchik, Borys Nieśpielak, Haris Panagiotakopoulos, Kamil Pawlik, Paweł Piotrowski, Krzysztof Racoń, Vivian del Rio, Egor Rogalev, Robert Rutoed, Ilya Shtutsa, Stavros Stamatiou, Evgeniy Stepanets, Evgeniy Stiepanov, Marcin Sudak, Jacek Szust, Di Talkin, Olga Titova, Ksenia Tsykunowa, Yaroslaw Tymcyshyn, Adrian Wykrota, Jan Zappner, Artem Zhitenev.