Lost Territories
Project info

We would like to invite you to support our artistic project in post-soviet countries of Central Asia. Twenty-five years after the fall of the USSR five Sputnik Photos photographers are setting out on a journey to five former soviet republics: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

For a number of years, we have been documenting changes taking place in post-communist countries, particularly in the former republics of the Soviet Union, always referring to our own individual experience of the transformation period. Recently, we have focused on Belarus, Ukraine, Moldavia, Armenia and Georgia. In the face of an increasing political tension in the region, photography documenting everyday life, and the changes and myths of the countries still falling under Russian influence, becomes even more relevant.

At the current stage, we are planning further trips to the former Soviet empire, focusing on Central Asia, and we hope you will support our efforts.

We are interested in what is happening in the countries that used to be part of the Soviet Union, and still remain under Russian influence, because their history is also our history and it concerns us directly. We are immersing ourselves in this complex and multi-faceted world. We are uncovering the nations’ nostalgia for the empire, their drive to democracy, traces of former propaganda, poverty, but also the emergence of the new and hope for a better future. We are aware that our project will give neither a diagnosis nor simple and straightforward answers to the questions relevant for the region. Yet, we want to make discoveries and show them to others. We believe that 25 years after the change is a perfect time to sum up the efforts our nations have made to date.

Your help can make it happen!

The funds raised will enable each of us to go on a single trip to one of the countries we focus on:

Kazakhstan: Agnieszka Rayss

Uzbekistan: Michał Łuczak

Turkmenistan: Rafał Milach

Tajikistan: Adam Pańczuk

Kyrgyzstan: Jan Brykczyński

The project will be rounded off in 2016 by a mobile exhibition and a photobook for audiences across the globe. It will show all the 15 countries that used to be part of the USSR.

Why is the Lost Territories project so important?

The Soviet Union was a very important country. It kept a firm grip on a large part of Europe and Asia. The Empire is gone, but what has it left behind? A relief? Freedom? A longing for imperial power, for feeling strong and unique? There are at least 15 answers to this question – as many as there are countries left after the collapse of the USSR. What is happening there matters to all of us, as has been recently shown in Ukraine. That is why we want to do the project.

Why are we asking for your money to finance it?
Because we are unable to do it otherwise.
Public grant providers do not seem to be interested in those territories. We believe that crowdfunding is an excellent method for financing such projects as ours. We offer much – check our campaign website – in return to all those who can help us. You can support us with large of small contributions. We will appreciate any support.
If we do not collect the entire amount, the money will be lost – this is an "all or nothing" campaign.

What will we spend the money on?
On flights, negatives, interpreters, accommodation for 5 Sputnik and invited photographers – guests from Central Asia countries.
Our project about post-soviet countries is half ready. We have already been to the Caucasus, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. The only countries left are the Baltic States (we will finance the trips ourselves) and Central Asia, for which we need your support.