In the fall of 1990, Keizo Kitajima received a commission from Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper to visit the Soviet Union, the opportunity to spend a year documenting both people and places in what was then a monolithic entity. 15 republics, 11 time zones, and thousands of miles spanning the two—the task was daunting in the very least. Having spent several years based in West Berlin, the Iron Curtain was a looming presence and Kitajima had often contemplated turning his lens towards the Soviet regime although the difficulties associated therein—censorship, freedom of access, and overwhelming bureaucracy—seemed insurmountable. And so it was, with a mix of anticipation and trepidation, that Kitajima entered the USSR in November 1990 to capture a moment in time where the winds of change roared at a howling pace.
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(All rights reserved. Images and text @ Keizo Kitajima and Little Big Man Gallery Los Angeles.)