Boris Mikhailov is no doubt one of the most influential and inspiring photographers to have emerged from the former USSR. Coming form the Ukraine, he luckily taught himself photography and is now one of the most important artists to have worked during soviet times as well as after the breaking up.
After the KGB forced him to give up his work as an engineer he dedicated himself to photography only, shooting every-day life situations and documenting everything around him, creating his famous Red Series.
Next he produced Case History, a real monument to the art of photography and at the same time a documentation of the social decay and the downfall of human condition after the split of the USSR. Recently he lives and works in Berlin, again dealing with people living on the margins of a capitalist society.
In his work, he genuinely portrays the life of the oppressed, the poor, the homeless. To him his subjects are normal people who just didn’t manage to play along. Visiting them in their homes, or after having lost them, he says that he felt those people were going to die for the sake of others. Stripped of their human nature and rights he saw them wandering in the streets of this post-communism world like in a gigantic concentration camp and had to document their existence, which he did like no other.
Text by Amanda M. Jansson
All photographs belong to Boris Mikhailov