Bifucated and Parallel Histories

Three decades after the collapse of the global Cold War order in 1989, the dust is still far from settled. In fact, some of the traces left behind are like movie sets silently waiting for the next blockbuster production. Nonetheless, these are not tourist sites that seek to monumentalize the past. Rather, many of them are little known places with reverberating legacies actively informing the contemporary moment. In this ongoing photographic series, parings of Cold War traces are used as physical and conceptual registers to construct an alternative narrative that challenges the conventional view of the Cold War as a binary East/West confrontation. In particular, each pair narrates an aspect of the multifaceted conflicts that spanned across the globe. Viewing together, these paired images indicate that the intense ideological and geopolitical rivalries between hostile parties were often driven by shared logics of technology, fantasy, fear, passion, anxiety, and violence. As such, the so-called end of the Cold War did not mark the end of history. Quite the contrary, it has given rise to a new period of agonies, displacement, domination, exploitation, and confrontations with profound consequences that continue to unfold all around us.