© Kosuke Okahara, 2010, 'A villager drinks home-made wine', Lenina / Transnistria, Moldova
Photographer Kosuke Okahara visited Transnistria, an unrecognized state between Romania and Ukraine, in 2010, in order to explore what life is like "in a country that doesn’t exist," to learn "if the people are still very attached to the place where they live."
In Transnistria, he found a place caught between past and present. This photograph was taken in the village of Lenina, a farming community that is losing much of its population, as young people depart to seek work in Russia or the Ukraine. Most of the residents, he found, were children left behind by their parents and older people. “As I stayed in the village, I wondered if it was possible for the people to keep their identity, as either Transnistrian or Russian or Ukrainian,” the photographer said. “Or do they need to adapt to the new world they are resisting?”