After the fall of the Soviet Union, its enormous fishing fleet - ships and crews - were abandoned in different ports around the world. The largest chunk of the fleet ended up in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands.



The ships. often in a state of disrepair, were stranded in ports around the world with unpaid berthing fees and lack of fuel. Their crews, after months of sailing, remained unpaid. A sailor who abandons his ship loses the right to demand his payment. So a group of sailors aboard the ships in Las Palmas had to decide whether to forgo their wages or stay steadfast in the hope of being remunerated. Officially, they are not on European soil, nor can they apply for asylum according the EU legislation. Stuck in limbo, they have turned their ship into their home; a home that is slowly sinking. The ship is rusting badly and sometimes the sailors hive off parts of the ship to sell as scrap metal.



Some crew members over the years have decided to return to Ukraine by bus from mainland Spain. Others have been living on the ship for over 15 years. They live in a watery no-man's land, a few metres from the shore - a shore they must not step foot on lest they loose everything.

This photo series is a reflection on the notion of 'shipwreck' and its effects on the 'survivors'. Cargo tells the story of survivors, a group of sailors who remain suspended in time and space against their will.
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