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World Cup 2018: Contrast in Kaliningrad – life in the shadows of Russia's party

Capturing the moments when everyday life in the city intersects with the beautiful game

Richard Morgan
Wednesday 27 June 2018 16:16 BST
(Photos Richard Morgan/The Independent)

I’ve been photographing in Kaliningrad since the tournament began, exploring life on the streets in the context of the World Cup.

My photographs reveal the moments when everyday life in the city meets football, when it is framed, humoured, or even contradicted by the imagery of “the beautiful game”.

The World Cup alters the look of things. Tourists are found peering through murder-holes in the remains of the city’s 19th-century fortresses, while legends of the game stand high above them and stare back out at the city.

Football provides a place to hide. It also semi-conceals everyday life. Even Kvass, the traditional Russian drink, is being dressed up as a football beverage.

I wondered how long the traces of the World Cup would last here, how long its visual imagery would take to fade away. Perhaps it never will, I thought, but would instead remain forever, like hieroglyphics from a time when Kaliningrad was a football city.

About the photographer

Richard Morgan is an award-winning British street and social documentary photographer.

After receiving a PhD from University College London School of Slavonic and East European studies, and prompted by the Brexit vote in June 2016, Morgan moved to the “heart of Europe”, Poland. Where he put together an intimate portrait of Poland and its people and went on to win 2018 CBRE Urban Photographer of the Year with one of the images from the set.

Richard has been exploring Kaliningrad for The Independent, providing his own intimate portrait of the Russian region hosting England’s last World Cup group match against Belgium.

You can follow more of Richard Morgan’s work on Facebook and Instagram

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