Tuesday, 10 April 2018
Next month I am flying to Ukraine. I will be driving from Kiev to Dnipropetrovsk to visit Victor, my Great Aunt Minna's grandson. I last made the journey ten years ago. Since then there have been many changes: Victor went, in his words, 'bust', lost the milk plant where, having given up his job as a state paid scientist, had been attempting to manufacture experimental kosher condensed milk - 'not religious' endeavour, he was keen to explain. He lost his wife, then found a new one. He is still hunting wild boar and playing ice hockey. He is about to become a Grandparent. I have to find out if Dennis, his son, is still the local rock star, and if he still carries a gun. Since then Ukraine and Russia have been at war on the eastern side of the country. In 2014 Russia annexed the Crimea peninsula.
For a long while I have wanted to explore the landscape of Ukraine where Minna settled, having been forced to leave her home in Latvia, with the landscape of Southern Africa where Minna's three brothers spent their lives without her and their parents, my Great Grandparents. North and South. A world apart. Refugee and Emigrant.
These images will be added to the book.
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