Sunday Wishes

Andrej Balco photographs Ukrainian economic migrants working in Slovakia

Ukrainian economic migrants in Slovakia often work illegally because they only have tourist visas. After the visa’s expiration date, many stay in the Slovak Republic, subject to a daily routine. Hard labour. Six days a week. Twelve hours per day. Sleep. The only free day is Sunday. I have photographed them all on that day. I have proposed eight questions to everyone, to which they responded in writing. Their handwritten answers have become a part of their portraits.

Stefan 39 years old / He is from Ukraine, Novoborovo / Married and he has 2 children / Education: apprentice level, tractor-driver / He has been working in Slovakia for 5 years /His wish is to have Slovak ID.
Ivan Ivanovic 42 years old / From Ukraine,Tacev / Divorced father of 2 children / Education: Apprentice level, cabinet maker / He has been working in Slovakia illegally for 2 months / His wish is to have a content, happy life.
Slavo 29 years old / Ukraine, Bustano / Single / Education: apprentice level, welder / He has been working in Slovakia illegally for 4 and a half month / his wish is to have a lot of Money.
Jura 57 years old / Ukraine, Korolevo / Married, he has 3 children / Education: high school, switchman / He is living on pension since 2005 / He has been working in Slovakia illegally for 2 months / His wish is to have a better life.
Ludmila 49 years old / from Ukraine, Termopol / Married, she has 2 children / Education: University degree / She has been working in Slovakia for 9 years legally but at the moment she works illegally / Her wish is to be young again, be about 20-year-old.
Alexander 34 years old / Ukraine, Mukaèevo / Married he has 2 children / Education: apprentice level, electro-welder / Working in Slovakia for 12 years; and since 2000, legally / Wish: I wish life would run nicely, smoothly. Mariana 31 years old /Ukraine, Mukacevo / Married with 2 children / Education: High school, shop assistant. Working in Slovakia illegally for three years. Her wish: none.

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About Andrej Balco