A Diverging Frontier (Russia and its Neighbors) combines two long-term projects realised over the past decade, presenting an in-depth look at the Caucasus and Ukraine – two former regions of the Soviet Union that have struggled to break away from Russia’s sphere of influence toward Western Europe for the last 25 years. Justyna Mielnikiewicz’s work brings a closer perspective to the changes that continue to take place there through the broad context of geopolitical location, often conflicting interpretations of the recent history, and by way of the commitment and personal stories of the people the artist talked to and photographed there. December 26, 2016 will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the fall of the Soviet Union, when fifteen independent countries replaced the Union Republics. The project explores borders as ever-changing spheres of influence that overlap physical boundaries marked on a map. It documents life on the European frontier and delves into symbolic meanings and reconstructed historical narratives of these borderlands, which contribute to forming national identity and shaping the images of the neighbouring countries.
Justyna Mielnikiewicz is award winning photographer from Poland. Since 2003 based in the Republic of Georgia. Her work mainly focuses on the countries of the former Soviet Union. Her photographs have been published in various international publications such as The New York Times, Monocle, Newsweek International, Marie Claire, GEO France, National Geographic, Le Monde, Stern, German Yearbook of Reporters without Borders - among others. She began her career in 1999 in Poland, reporting for the daily newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza. Since 2001 she works as a freelance documentary photographer . Most important part of her professional activities is devoted to personal , long term projects. In 2014 she published her first book: “ Woman with a Monkey- Caucasus in Short Notes and Photographs, which covers a photographer's decade of documenting Caucasus.
As a part of European Month of Photography