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Саша Маслов. Ukrainian Railroad Ladies
Ukrainian Railroad Ladies is a series of portraits of traffic controllers and safety officers at railroads of Ukraine. This project is also an exploration of why these professions still exist in the twenty-first century, given the almost complete automatization of railroad crossings in the country. It is a study of the anthropological and social aspects of this phenomenon and the overall role of Ukraine’s railroad system. Sasha Maslov is a Ukrainian-American portrait photographer and storyteller based in New York City. He is a regular contributor to a number of magazines and leading publications in New York and around the globe, and is actively pursuing work on his documentary projects.
For every place and worker in the series there is only one standalone portrait, which has a comprehensive set of visual and ideological characteristics. However, the sheer number of photographs in the series shows just how varied and multifaceted this phenomenon can be, aesthetically and otherwise. Maslov’s interest toward the visuals of this profession and the unique lifestyle of railway crossing controllers allowed him to explore this niche community and single out those local social ties which had never before come under analysis — turning this photographic series into a piece of sociological research, beyond a purely aesthetic one.