Vacant / Vaba / Bакантный
Pigment ink print
Model: Üüve-Lydia Toompere
Lighting and assisting: Alis Mäesalu
Made for the exhibition "Life in Decline", curated by Francisco Martínez, Estonian Museum of Mining at Kohtla Nõmme.
"This photo series engages with the current depopulation in Ida-Virumaa, a region that has lost 35% of its inhabitants since 1989 (from 205,000 to 131,900). Accordingly, the Ministry of Finances has approved a pilot project to demolish half-empty apartment buildings and re-organize the inhabitants into other buildings. Young people allege different reasons for leaving: namely, pollution (due to intensive industrial, mining and chemical production), postsocialist abandonment by the state, or simply seeing no future here. Photos of local apartments on sale are, however, presented with a seductive real-estate agent and in dialog with the calculating machinery of the accountant of the Kohtla mine. For potential buyers, this means an opportunity in a land of resilience." - Francisco Martínez