House Proud

Beginning in the 1960s, large multi-unit residential estates were constructed throughout Eastern Europe to provide much-needed housing for the influx of workers to rapidly-industrializing urban areas. These were much sought after and difficult to procur. They provided a respite from otherwise crowded communal apartments and were very affordable due to government subsidies.

Now, after years of habitation, neglect, and often slipshod “improvements,” these estates — although still home to a majority of the population — are no longer such sought-after places to live.

These recent photographs from Bulgaria, Lithuania, Bosnia, Ukraine, and Montenegro are presented as if proudly displayed on a typical living room wall (complete with vintage communist era wallpaper). They call into question the success of the communist system’s approach to housing and how its desirability and impact on people’s lives has changed over time.

Photographic prints in found frames on 16” x 20” wood panels covered with vintage wallpaper

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