Vain Youth



Ukrainian photographer Sasha Kurmaz (1986) works and lives in the capitol of his motherland: Kiev.  He created his series Vain Youth out of scenes from his everyday life. Combined, the images build up a certain kind of tension. We see young people who convey a sense of freedom, but at the same time their environments don't seem to grant them that. Most images are taken in close, private quarters, which might just be the only place where the adolescents can do what they want; express who they really are.

The fleshy tones that run through the entire series create the feeling of intimacy rather than vulgarity, although the content could be described as vulgar. It feels as if Kurmaz is trying to poke the wall of restrictions of a conservative country like Ukraine without wanting to smash a jackhammer through it immediately. However, maybe in the end, 1000 pokes do more damage than a single mighty blow. With this series, the photographer tries to show that although the Ukrainian youth is oppressed, they gently dance around all the obstacles that are thrown on their paths. All images tell a story on their own, but only together do they form the a larger narrative that tells us about the Post-Soviet generation, trying to build their own identities in a land of restrictions.