The “Post-Soviet Youth” world of film photographer Wowa Romaniuk

Wowa Romaniuk Film photographer Lviv, Ukraine


I want people to realize that my photos are a representation of a surrealistic world that is constructed in post soviet locations

Tell us about yourself, where are you from? Im Wowa Romaniuk, Ukrainian film photographer from Lviv. I'm 25. I started photography a few years ago when I bought a film camera. I don't recognize myself as a fashion photographer, most of my shots are a representation of a surrealistic world that is constructed in post soviet locations. I call it “Post-Soviet Youth”.


What do you want the viewers to take away from your work? I want people to realize that my photos are a representation of a surrealistic world that is constructed in post soviet locations. I want to give them strong emotions and want them to fall into a reverie at the sight of soviet era utopian life. In the Soviet Union, any genre of art that showed erotic scenes was forbidden. Photographers were not allowed to take erotic photos and show them in public so nudity did not exist at all. I try to change the rules and show what was forbidden.


Can you describe your photography in five words? Absurd, Erotica, Documentary Nostalgia and Surrealism.


What attracts you about the Soviet-era architecture present in your shots? One of the characteristics of my photographs is the architecture of modernism and brutalism. One of my favorite modernistic buildings is located in Kyiv. It’s called “Tarilka” by the locals meaning “plate” or UFO building, as it resembles an alien ship.


Do you have tattoos? I have 5 on my right leg. One of them is soviet building, second one is in suprematism-kandinsky style and some handpokes.

What is your go to outfit? In Spring - white polo neck, blue jeans, coat or jeans jacket, dr martens, glasses. In Summer - white t-shirt, blue jeans \ shorts, dr martens, glasses.


Where do you get inspiration from? From old movies like Wir kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo (1981) … or from music like Kino band, it's a post-punk band formed in 1982, by Viktor Tsoi.


Your memory from youth? As a young man, I loved going to post-Soviet cinemas and old houses of culture. Once, my friends and I broke into an abandoned Soviet movie theater. Everything there looked as if time had stopped in the 80s. We explored this place, were inspired by architecture and just spent time as teenagers.



Best camera for shooting? I prefer film cameras for shooting. I shoot on Olympus mju ii, but expensive cameras do not prove that someone is a good photographer. You can even take photos on old phones like Nokia or old digital cameras like Kodak DC215


Who is your favourite photographer? Boris Mikhailov, one of the most important contemporary photographers, electrical engineer by training. He began his career and first photographic experiments in Kharkiv.


What is in your bag? Camera Olympus mju, Kodak Ektachome, Kodak Tmax, parfums Comme des Garcons, glasses, bottle of water or wine, magazines from 80s.


IG: @monwave

IG: @wowaromaniuk

FB: @WowaRomaniuk