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Jens Olof Lasthein
White Sea Black Sea
HC 30 x 25 cm.
Dewi Lewis 2008

"The Iron Curtain is long gone, Germany is unified and the borders of the European Union continue to expand, yet the line between east and west in Europe still remains visible. Jens Olof Lasthein's book is a visual journey from the White Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south - powerful tales of a boundary in transition.'The Yalta Agreement gave the easternmost part of Czechoslovakia to the Soviet Union. Stolnitsy was split down the middle, right over the main street, with barbed wire, mine fields and a guard tower. And that's how it remains when I come to visit Alisa. The minefields are gone and the old guard tower stands empty, but the cruel wire fence is still there, patrolled now by Ukrainian border guards on this side and Slovakian EU soldiers on the other. So when Alisa wants to have a cup of coffee with her nearest neighbour, they stand on either side, giving the wire a respectful distance, shouting and gesticulating, both of them speaking Hungarian. (Jens Lastehein, diary extract from the book)."

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