In 2015, photographer Algirdas Bakas visited the Kaliningrad Oblast, which starts only 24 kilometers from his hometown, Jurbarkas. These lands, stretching between Lithuania and Poland, underwent a transformation from the Prussian splendor of Königsberg to the most militarized part of the Soviet Union.
In Kaliningrad, the mixing of East and West is visible not only in public space, but also in the faces of the people Bakas met during his journey. Ironically, residents appreciate everything that is Western, even if it is inauthentic renovation of buildings, clothes from chain stores or selfies. On the other hand, the Soviet heritage, interesting to tourists from the West, is appreciated just as strongly as Western novelties. Thus, nostalgia for the West is mixed with ostalgia for the East.
The “Kaliningrad” series is an anthropological and sociological research on the Soviet heritage that uncovers both the facade and the periphery of Kaliningrad.
Algirdas Bakas (1984) – in 2004 he started working as a photographer for the daily “Lietuvos Rytos”, later he was a freelancer in London. From 2011 to 2016, he lived in Shanghai. His photos appeared, among others in the “Financial Times”, “NY Times” or “Vogue”.
His works have been shown at individual exhibitions at the Pakrante gallery in Vilnius (2016), the Plunge Biennale (2018) and the Shanghai Op-Ed (2018).
Currently he lives and works in Švenčionėliai.