Belorussian photographer Andrei Liankevich: “We were born in between times“

Andrei Liankevich of Beyond 91’s Team Latvia ©Gaisha Madanova

Photographer Andrei Liankevich (35) was born and raised in Belarus. Together with Latvian writer Ance Šverna he forms Beyond 91’s Team Latvia. The two are reporting on the unprecedented emigration wave Latvia experienced over the last 10 years — 10% of the population left Latvia and most of the emigrants don’t want to return. But there is also a new “self made” generation of independent thinkers who chose to remain in Latvia, in order to shape the future of their country.

Read more about Andrei’s memories of Perestroika and his hopes for Beyond 91.

Which subjects and issues are you the most interested in?
Documentary photography, modern art with a political message and social art.

Do you have any precise memories of Perestroika? What was it like?

No money (we had coupons instead), no goods and no food in the shops… But a lot of anarchy on the streets and in society.

What makes the “Perestroika generation” so special?

We (they) were born in between time. The changes during those times are generally the most dramatic and difficult, but they provide incredible experiences for the future.

On the ground in Latvia — Andrei at work for Beyond 91 ©Ance Šverna

Do you ever have nostalgic feelings towards the communist period in Eastern Europe?


What do you think the Western media gets wrong when reporting about the former communist East?

As I see it, 99 percent of the reports are full of clichés.

Why did you want to become part of Beyond 91?

My previous experiences show me that working in collectives multiplies the effect of telling stories. You get a wider perspective.

Behind the scenes in Latvia

If you would have to describe Eastern Europa today in three words — what would they be?

Choice, nostalgic, possibility.

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