Disko by Andrew Miksys
Only signed copies
For almost 10 years, I spent many weekends photographing in village discos in Lithuania. Most of these discos are located in Soviet era culture houses. Sometimes I would rummage around the back rooms and find broken Lenin paintings, Soviet movie posters, gas masks and other remnants of the Soviet Union. I was quite fascinated by all this debris of a dead empire. It seemed like a perfect backdrop to make a series of photographs about young people in Lithuania, a crumbling past and the uncertain future of a new generation together in one room.
The people I photographed were often puzzled about my presence in their local discos. Why would someone travel all the way from the USA to photograph them?
I’m an American-Lithuanian, but my broken, heavily accented Lithuanian certainly gave me away. In truth, it was probably my outsider status that made me less threatening and kept me safe. The local disco is where you go to get drunk, make out, dance and sometimes fight. I ignored the repeated warnings from friends not to travel to these places alone. My anxiety was often quite intense when I got in my car and left the familiar lights of Vilnius searching for discos on mostly empty back roads. I never knew what I was going to find, but the prospect of discovering a disco somewhere in the dark with colored lights pouring out the windows and pulsating music pushed me forward.