IN BETWEEN EASTS
Originally from Paris, Frédéric Mery works primarily as a photojournalist and a documentary photographer. After studying law at Sorbonne University in Paris, Frédéric decided to devote himself instead to his long-time interest in photography. He now focuses his work on what matters most, mainly environmental and social issues, and sees photography as a slow process with intimacy as the key to a great picture.
He is a member of the international photo agency Hans Lucas. His passion for documentary photography has taken him around the world, from the USA to North Korea, and most of the former Soviet republics. In search of new photographic horizons, he moved to Japan in September 2019 and currently resides in Kyoto.
- Statement -
At the fall of the Soviet Union, the eastern block of Europe scattered into small states, with some finally attempting access to the western world’s ideals of democracy. Moldova passed the gate in 1991 but has been stuck in between two blocks ever since. In the east sits Moldova, a block between Ukraine and Russia. The recent political turmoil between the two larger countries has led to fear on the Moldovan side of the Dnieper River. Since 1994, Moldova has forfeited a large parcel of land, Transnistria, to the direct supervision of Moscow, which is now home to 1500 Russian soldiers. Since the 90s, more regions have broken away from the Moldovan state and pledged a relative allegiance to Russia, spreading fears amongst partisans campaigning for an entry into the E.U. Such allegiances are seen as major obstacles for Moldova to join the European Union, unlike its next-door neighbor Romania, which is seen by many Moldavians as having succeeded in integrating into the western world. In between Russia and Ukraine stands a unique population, struggling on a daily basis. From the hopeless youth living amongst the ashes of the Soviet Union to an older generation watching the 90s promises of hope fading away. This set of pictures focuses on their day-to-day life. Not in Eastern Europe, not in Ukraine, and not in Russia. Stuck between the Easts. Hence, the name of this photo essay, “In between Easts.”