Temporary Homes

  • Dates
    2019 - Ongoing
  • Author
  • Topics Daily Life, Documentary, Portrait, Social Issues
  • Locations Ukraine, Kyiv

A long-term documentary project about student dormitories in Ukraine and people who live there. This series offers both a visual journey to the dorms showing their unique interiors and a subtle portrait of the young generation of Ukrainians.

Dormitories are the only type of social housing that exists in Ukraine nowadays. They were constructed during the soviet epoch to host students and to offer the freedom of movement in the vast country it used to be. Since that time, buildings and living conditions haven’t changed that much but Ukraine and its people did. I photograph dormitories because they represent the co-existence of the soviet heritage and the new pro-European generation. This ambiguity attracts me and it represents the change of mentality in the country which is moving towards globalization.


In 2014 the world heard about The Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine and since then the Western media have been writing about Ukrainian youth through the prism of techno culture, raves, and war. When I started this project I wanted to make a sincere and subtle portrait of the generation born after 2000. Students who live in dormitories are young, smart, and full of hope. They have just left their families and moved into their first independent housing. They stay in their small rooms for only 3 or 4 years, yet they decorate them with a personal touch. In this series I aim to explore how students cohabit in the small rooms they possess, appropriating their different corners and transforming them into unique ephemeral spaces. All these buildings which look cold and unified from the outside hide diverse rooms that unite soviet interiors and belongings, drawings, and posters of each student. Neither a family house nor a rented flat, dormitories are a kind of cocoon: the place of transition from teenage years to an adult life.

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Temporary Homes by Daria Svertilova

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