13 Apr Ukrzaliznytsia
In Ukrainian trains, it is a tradition that after boarding, passengers put on more comfortable clothes, change their shoes into slippers or lie barefoot, have dinner and a drink – and all this in cramped compartments. From that moment on everything seems possible. The notions of privacy and personal boundaries are dim in the train light…
With her experience as a train conductor, Julie Poly has captured the essence of travel on Ukrainian trains. Documentary photos of train decorations and staged photos of models representing typical passengers of the Ukrainian railway – Julie Poly calls this approach “pseudo-documentary”, because the inspiration for the staged photos comes from real people and situations. Among the passengers are soldiers, business women, gigolos and athletes. Most of the photos in the book can be described as erotic. This is due to the specific atmosphere in the Ukrainian trains and their perception by the artist. “I believe that travelling by train in Ukraine is a rather erotic experience. Nowhere in the world you will find trains where half-naked people travel together side by side,” says Julie Poly.