The Berlin Wall was the physical embodiment of the ‘Iron Curtain’ that divided the Soviet world from the West. Once it fell the Soviet Empire itself also began to crumble. At its heart was a military system which extended throughout its territories exerting huge control and influence. There were military bases in every country.
Eric Lusito, has travelled throughout the former Soviet Union from East Germany to Mongolia, from Poland to Kazakhstan in search of these former Soviet military bases and his photographs are an extraordinary record. As the Union crumbled many bases were simply abandoned. The military departed but much else was just left behind. Lusito discovered everything from gas masks to propaganda posters, books and magazines, instruction manuals and personal photographs. But it is the buildings themselves which are the most resonant symbols of the fall of a once powerful Empire. A lecture hall is laid out with chairs ready, and theatre spotlights still mounted on the walls, yet the ceiling has begun to collapse; a swimming pool is full of water but this is stagnant water unchanged for years. And throughout there remain symbols of the old regime – murals of heroic deeds and national glories, photographs of political and miltary leaders, posters exhorting young soldiers to give their all for their motherland.