Giorgio Morra PHOTOGRAPHY
SPACE ON TIME
Protection seekers who come from the embattled Ukrainian territories and who have usually been on the move for several days arrive day after day in Chișinău, the capital of Moldova.
It is late in the evening when empty buses line the inner-city roadside. In the cone of light of one of the vehicles that has just moved, a small boy walks through the nocturnal scenery with a dog on a leash. This everyday occurrence takes place in an environment that is unknown to him, as the previous normality has changed since 24 February 2022 (the Russian invasion of Ukraine). Protection seekers who come from the embattled Ukrainian territories and who have usually been on the move for several days arrive day after day in Chișinău, the capital of Moldova. Around a third of the Ukrainian population has since been displaced from their villages and towns. So far, about one hundred thousand have arrived in neighbouring Moldova.
The political instability prevailing in Moldova is triggered by the status of the breakaway region of Transnistria, a pro-Russian de facto state. As a result, Moldova has become a transit point for fleeing people since the war began. Schools, community centres and the fairgrounds have been transformed into reception centres where makeshift beds and cabins are lined up next to each other. They are non-places, transit spaces that represent a station on the escape route, where a destination is mostly uncertain. Here, space and time have a dialectical effect. It is especially in these places that the fate and vulnerability of each individual is revealed. Photography as a means of visualising these dramatic living conditions and the resulting uncertainty of the fugitives follows the claim to make reality become image. The photography raises questions about where the condition that has been constituted by the war in Ukraine will lead.
Republic of Moldova. March 2022