In 1996, a group of street kids promised to show me the place where they spent their nights. I photographed the children over the next month until, without warning, they changed sleeping quarters, and I lost them. I met them again two years later, only to lose them after three days. Some of these images are spontaneous; others are the result of endless research. The rest are the product of long-lasting, trusting relationships.
The children in these pictures are not living a normal life. The poverty experienced by the majority of the Ukranian population is humiliating. It pushes kids out of their homes and onto the streets where they spend their days searching for a crust of bread, and their nights looking for a place to sleep. Some prefer the violence of the streets to homes filled with alcohol and drugs.
Basements, begging, thefts, alcohol, violence, drugs, cruel treatment - these are inevitable parts of the daily struggle.
When I look into a childs eyes and receive his or her gaze in response, I am not looking at a statistic, but at a child. Photographs can reveal pain, which I search for, even while I wish it did not exist.