“We think that street photography is a unique means by which we can capture all those interesting things and all the non-repeating situations that happen around us in our everyday lives and that otherwise may stay unnoticed. We seek those micro moments that usually get neglected or underrated by ordinary people.”
Dmitry Stepanenko, how did the idea come up to found the street photography collective “Momentum”?
The idea about the need to organize a street photography collective first came to me in autumn 2011. But it was not until autumn 2012 when the Momentum collective was actually set up with the founding members being Max Chichinskij, Ilya Atlas, myself and soon after Ilya Krasnoschek. Now the collective consists of nine members living in five different countries.
What’s the idea behind the collective?
The collective was set up to combine the efforts of young street photographers (the vast majority of the photographers are in their 20s) from the post-Soviet area now living in different countries and travelling around the world in order to take part in street photography collective exhibitions, complete common projects and promote street photography in general.
How did you choose the members? Do you all know each other?
One of the advantages of the modern technologies nowadays is the tools they give to meet and communicate with different people separated by many miles from each other. So even though many of us have been communicating for years only few have actually met each other in real life. When inviting new members we generally look not only at one’s photographs but also try to find a nice person who would fit into the collective.
Is there some common ground as to how the members think about photography and street photography in particular?
“The beauty of street photography is that it helps you to look at the world in a different way and leads you to be constantly looking for something new and interesting as you never know what is waiting for you just around the corner.”
We think that street photography is a unique means by which we can capture all those interesting things and all the non-repeating situations that happen around us in our everyday lives and that otherwise may stay unnoticed. We seek those micro moments that usually get neglected or underrated by ordinary people. The beauty of street photography is that it helps you to look at the world in a different way and leads you to be constantly looking for something new and interesting as you never know what is waiting for you just around the corner.
Do you realize projects together? Like exhibitions, publications etc.?
One of the main aims of our collective is to realize common projects, be it exhibitions, books and common proto-projects. We have already had two collective exhibitions in Russia and Ukraine and there are more planned for this and next years in different countries. We are also working on a book and on a collective photo-project but they are still at early stages.
What kind of approach do you have of street photography?
The approach is simple: try to stay unnoticed and respect people you are photographing.
More images from members of the street photography collective “Momentum”
You all shoot street photography in Eastern European countries. Do exist some particularities compared to shooting in other regions of the world? Which tradition or role does street photography play in Eastern Europe or in the countries that each one of you comes from?
We all come from Eastern European countries – currently Russia and Ukraine. However, we live and shoot street all over the world in such countries as Poland, United Kingdom, USA, Argentina, China, Russia, Indonesia, Ukraine, Turkey and others.
We all have different shooting styles and tastes in photography but at the same time we share the same background that helps us to understand each other and our works better. Street photography in the post-Soviet countries is a relatively new genre as most of the photographers in the past dealt exclusively with documentary photography.
Nevertheless, it is gaining popularity rapidly and for instance resulted in a “Street Photography Festival” in Moscow.