Strong Arm of the State: Alexander Chekmenev’s Post-Independence Ukraine Passport Photos

Ukraine, Lugansk City.

Ukraine, Lugansk City.


In 1994, the local government in the city of Luhansk, in eastern Ukraine, found itself in need of a photographer. The Soviet Union had just collapsed a few years earlier, and like all of its newly independent states, Ukraine had to go through the process of issuing new passports to all of its citizens, roughly 50 million of them. As if that wasn’t enough of a problem, many of those citizens were shut-ins, elderly and bedridden, and in order to take their passport pictures someone had to go around making house calls with a camera. In Luhansk, one of the officials knew a guy who knew a guy who worked at a local photo studio. His name was Alexander Chekmenev. So that’s who got the job.

Read more: Alexander Chekmenev’s Post-Independence Ukraine Passport Photos – LightBox http://lightbox.time.com/2014/05/13/ukraine-passport-photos/#ixzz31g61wZz4

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