Stereotypes of the post-Soviet world can sometime feel strange and alien for the young generation growing up there. To blast these outdated and absurd visual tropes, a group of creative visionaries in Ukraine decided to create an humorous and ironic project that imagines the region as a surreal video game universe. The question is, who would be the hero to conquer it?

“We felt that only a strong warrior-woman could bear and survive it all…like Lara Croft,” Ira Lupu told The Calvert Journal. To play the video gaming icon, Lupu sought the help of a professional Lara Croft cosplayer from Kiev, Tatiana Sochivets aka Tanya Croft, who first started dressing as the character after discovering Tomb Raider on her sister’s computer aged 15.

The project was shot by a young and talented name in the Ukrainian photography scene, Kristina Podobed from the Join the Cool collective. It was architects Ksenia Bilyk & Alice Omelchenko from BoBureau who developed the concept further by creating the 3-D visualisations that form the backdrop of the series.

Instead of tombs and puzzles, Tanya Croft navigates a world of kitsch post-Soviet interiors: watch out for crystal pillars, euroremont-style ceilings, sparkling water bottles and plenty of linoleum.

Published at Calvert Journal, text by LIZA PREMIYAK