This project examines the quickly changing commercial landscape of Ukraine and its impact on the workforce. By moving indoors, into corporate supermarkets and malls, Ukraine is becoming more westernized and homogeneous. The images of street vendors and other small, unlicensed businesses records an element of Ukrainian visual culture as it disappears. Not without irony, the beach portraits capture a black-market economy in the sunshine.—Olena Slyesarenko
Ukrainian photographer Olena Slyesarenko captures a few of her native land’s local vendors—unfortunately a dying breed these days—in her series of portraits, Small Economies: Beach Vendors. A delightful document of various ware and good-toting beachcombers, the work reminds us just what we stand to lose with a move to the corporate world—character, originality, spirit.