Lviv – Bozha Volya (literally, ‘God’s Will’) is a bus route that connects the city of Lviv with a small village lost deep in the forests along the border with the European Union — promised land of wealth and eternal joy. The bus to Bozha Volya departs from the main gate of an old Lviv cemetery. In Ukrainian ‘Bozha Volya’ shares the same origin as the word ‘bozhevillia’, meaning madness.
A naïve, visual subculture that exists in public spaces has become widespread throughout Ukraine after the fall of the Soviet Union and subsequent expansion of globalization. Makeshift sculptural scenes appear in the environment through accidental interactions and interventions by unrelated people — products of indiscriminate action, mistakes, destruction, and natural vegetation running wild. Ultimately, nobody is responsible for this happenstance. It is all God's will.
The images and structures that follow are as found in reality and have not been intervened with, other than to be isolated from their surroundings.
The title is an artistic choice only and thus, does not limit the region where pictures were taken.
Ukraine left the USSR and gained independence in 1991. Alongside the disintegration and collapse of the Soviet empire, municipal service organizations degraded as well. Originally built at an incredible pace, workers’ settlements suddenly lost their factories, and the lifespan of buildings ceased. External powers that held strict control over cities and financed their condition disappeared. People waited many years for the promised repair of buildings and playgrounds, but at some point realized that it will not happen. Due to absence of professional architectural and planning support, residents themselves now do what they can to improve the state of streets and gardens. Apart from that, grey Soviet apartment blocks have never satisfied the expectations of their residents with their comfort or beauty.
Improvements in public spaces are near impossible due to outdated laws, bureaucracy, and mafia infiltration of the city administration. For these reasons, the condition of the city is increasingly being influenced by impetuous locals, by people who initiate projects through money laundering, by villagers who are not accustomed to waiting for permits or official support, and, eventually, by wild vegetation. All of these influences contribute to a random terrain formed by coincidence, and the unique aesthetics documented in this project.