Intimate photos of

For many of us, the first luminous hours of the morning after a rave will be forever among the happiest memories of life. The innocent sincerity of emerging into the world after leaving the darkness of the club has always been worthy of a picture, even despite the dirty shoes and messy clothes. London-based photographer Matt Moran captured such precious early hours in Kiev, the home of renowned bourgeoning rave scene.

Moran first got into photography at the age of 17, after he got a medium format camera passed on from a family friend who used to work as a police crime scene investigator. Since these early days, his main interest in photography has been a feeling of discovery. “I like going to new places and I get inspired when I visit somewhere for the first time, meet people for the first time, see something new or hear the story I haven’t hear before,” he explains. “My work’s mainly documentary and portraiture, and in every place, I’m always looking for people to take portraits of.”

The drive for newness was what brought Moran to the Ukrainian capital Kiev, alongside his interest to architecture of Eastern Europe and its seemingly alien environment. Despite spending a lot of time in libraries and exploring historical monuments and edges of the city, he found his main subject in the youth scene surrounding the renowned party Cxema, which has been running in Kiev since 2014. Set up by Slava Lepsheev in the post-revolution nightlife void, Cxema is renowned for repurposing the city’s empty spaces – from disused factory buildings to a graffiti-covered skatepark on the riverbank — and the support of the local music scene. More than that, it has shaped the new generation’s approach to parties, perhaps more serious and dedicated than that of its Western peers.
“The party was at an old film studio, it was super loud, and the music quite,” the photographer remembers. “I literally stood at the side of this rave for 45 minutes looking at people, and I was surprised how many were there on their own – they might have come with friends but were dancing just on their own inside. I’ve been to parties in London but I can’t think of any places that matched that intensity.”

© 2021

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