(King’s Note: This article is a guest post by a long term expat living in Lviv, Ukraine. All credit to him and rights reserved. A Gen 2 is a Ukrainian woman age 26-35.)
I call this Pulitzer Prize quality photograph “The Gen 2”
The layout of the photograph is excellent in terms of angles and use of space. At the deep lore level it’s almost allegorical for how Gen 2s look at the world.
I took it while I was running and I’m very impressed with myself.
First the composition is excellent. The ground takes up 2/3 of the image making the viewer focus on it. The figure is big enough that you can see her clearly but small enough that the ground, overgrown weeds and filthy graffiti covered wall displays an oppressive feeling. The tilted angle give the feeling that she’s walking up hill, reinforcing the theme of struggle.
The figure itself has lots of great things too. Her pink shoes stand out against all the dirty browns, greens, and blues around her. There is a duality regarding the things she is carrying. The modern expensive suitcase on the dirty road suggests a clash of civilization and barbarity. Combine this with the fact that in her other hand is a giant plastic bag which provides the contrast for the civilized suitcase. The dirt road plus the plastic bag neutralizes the suitcase and allow you to see the ultimate truth of the photograph: she is a Barbarian.
This is a very good allegory for the Gen 2 mentality. She thinks, in her delusional head, that she’s a civilized member of the EU and no matter how many times the world around her knocks against that image of herself, she ain’t changing either her view of herself or the shithole place around her.