Nick Hannes is a visual artist born in Antwerp and now based in Ranst, Belgium. He has graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) in Ghent in 1997 and then worked for the next eight years as a photojournalist, making reportages in the Balkans and the Middle East.
We delve into his moving project titled Red Journey, which was completed while traveling through the fifteen former Soviet republics in order to make a documentary on post-communist societies. The project aims to expose ways in which former Soviet countries attempt to redefine their national identity after the year of 1991, when the communist imperium fall apart.
As to get into the story in depth, here are the words from the artist. „While a minority has succeeded in reaching "The Good Life", much of the population in the shattered Soviet empire has long abandoned the lofty expectations that stirred in 1991. Freedom and independence have their price. What was once the Soviet Union is now the home of extremes, a barrel of contrasts. An uncertain present balances between nostalgia for the past and hope for the future. Life flows by. Society evolves, even if the direction is not always discernible. Transition is pliable concept. In a coffee house is the Moldavian capital Chisinau I asked press photographer Nicolae Pojoga how long he thought the transition phase would last in his country. He laughed bitterly and answered frankly: "Nothing is more persistent than the temporary."