Julie Poly (Julia Polyaschenko):
- I graduated from Kharkov University of Railway Transport. My specialty was the management of transport processes and customs control, but all students could take a course guide. So I managed to work as a train conductor in several directions: Kharkov - Simferopol, Kharkov - St. Petersburg, Kharkov - Ivano-Frankivsk. It was very cool, I brought with me a lot of interesting stories.
While working as a conductor, I noticed that each direction has its own color: the business drive of the central part differs from the cozy and even naive mood of the western routes. I wanted to recreate these types.
I planned to shoot without regard to commercial projects, to show the inner life of the railway through the eyes of a conductor. I wanted to give the viewer the opportunity to feel like a wagon life insider.
I am inspired by daily stories - trivial, everyday things. I try to do what I find interesting, referring to my own experience and observation.
The project consists of two parts: a photo album and an exhibition, which after Kiev will be shown in Paris. For the exhibition in Kiev, I chose the central railway station: the photos were posted on citylights throughout the station, mixed with advertising posters.
The release of the album is scheduled for the spring of 2019. In addition to project shots, the book will include reportage photos of the Kiev exhibition.
I filmed throughout the year in trains of the eastern (Kharkov) and western (Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Truskavets, Uzhgorod) directions, as well as in the nearest cities (Fastov, Darnitsa, Boryspil, Vinnitsa, Kozyatin). Sometimes I bought a ticket to one of the cities of Ukraine, met interesting people, paid attention to the colorful still lifes on the tables.
All images were developed long before the start of the project. I made a plan of filming and planned plots, and then I selected a team of people who are close to me in spirit and to whom one or another aesthetic was close.
The models on the set are real people whom I picked up for specific images, occasional passengers, former classmates.Stylists of the project - fashion editor Vogue UA Venia Brykalin, designer MISBHV Elena Polyvian, Stas Soulkiper, Alena Ivanova and Nastya Gutnik. The list is updated because the shooting is not finished yet.
We took pictures in the sump when the train was not on the route, or simply bought tickets and filmed on the way. Especially we had to look for the direction in which there is a dining car, since these trains have already been removed from the routes, there are only two left.
Permits were required everywhere: for filming, check-in, check-out, citylights, party, photos. Sometimes there were very interesting sensations from the interaction of one person with the whole system, with such a large organization.
Some ideas could not be implemented on the route - we needed cars. I wrote official requests to various departments of Ukrzaliznytsia and the head of UZ, Mr. Kravtsov. After a month of negotiations, they agreed to help.
Representatives of Ukrzaliznytsia have not seen the photos until recently. When the exhibition was almost ready and I had already agreed on the placement of images in citylights, I finally showed the project to Kravtsov. He supported this initiative and allowed me to embody all my plans.
To display photos in citylights at the station is completely my idea, I have not seen these works elsewhere. They must interact with space and people.
None of the outstanding situations happened. It was very interesting to negotiate with the Gypsy Baron about shooting the camp, asking a 13-year-old girl from her grandmother for filming in Lviv. There were also piquant moments: for example, a private dance of a stripper in a compartment with demobels. This frame will be in the book.
In the process of work, we looked like ordinary passengers: leopard, bags, food - we merged with the general flow. Sometimes people thought that we were going somewhere with a concert.