The Faces of Industry

Workers Family of the Donbass
Construction of forging and pressing shop. Lower Dnieper Pipe Rolling Plant
Wine Factory Worker
Manufacturing process at handling equipment factory
Mine Worker
Mine workers soaking up the mountain sun in a phyto-sanatorium
Workers planting potatoes
Workers descending into the mine
Resting in the "red corner" of the physiatric hospital

On June 16-30, 2015 as part of the DonKult lecture and discussion program, the Urban Media Archive of the Center for Urban History presented its visual collection of the industrial past. The mini-exhibition "Faces of Industry," based on materials from the Urban Media Archiv, is on display at the conference room of the Center.

Most modern cities in Ukraine have a significant industrial heritage. In some cases, it is dominant in the urban space while in others it is marginal, but regardless of the treatment of this heritage, it is difficult to deny its presence in the past or even present life of the country, region, settlements, and individual people.

Pipes breathing black smoke is a common image of industry in the urban landscape. Smoke, which can encompass the picturesque landscape around a factory or plant, also obscures the complex and controversial history of Soviet industrialization. And if the outlines of the workshops or waste heaps, due to their bulkiness are capable of emerging from this smokescreen, human faces usually remain unnoticed.

"The Faces of Industry" was meant to present a slightly different view of the workers and industrial history, show a wider context of the phenomena that we often perceive as inherent to certain regions, such as the Donbas.

The photographs presented at the exhibition cover different regions and spheres of life of people engaged in industry. The scenes on the photographs were often staged, which also reflected the era in which they were made.