As Moldova proclaimed its independence during the collapse of the Soviet Union, a 400km stretch of territory wedged between its border with Ukraine also declared itself a separate entity. With its own flag, parliament and currency, Transnistria has all the apparatus of being a nation yet it is only officially acknowledged as an independent state by three other republics, all of them also with limited recognition. Born at the same time as this new state, in 1990, Anton Polyakov and Anya Galatonova are first generation Transnistrians whose work is dedicated to visualising life in the region, believing that photography plays a crucial role in affirming their homeland’s identity.
Last month BJP focused in on group work; this month we’re looking at a different kind of collaboration – projects in which photographers engage in a two-way dialogue with their subjects. One of the best – and the best-known – examples is Jim Goldberg, who works with subjects such as teenage runaways and migrants to tell wide-sweeping stories of marginalisation and economic disparity. Using an eclectic mix of photographs, archive materials and video, and both marking up himself and invites his subjects to write on, he creates complex montages guided by his sense of “intimacy, trust and intuition”. Incorporating the perspectives of the communities and subcultures he represents, his work is informed by his own background in a blue-collar family in New Haven.