Call it a disco, nightclub, or lounge, but they all serve the same purposes: drinking, dancing, and meeting people. Over a ten-year period, photographer Andrew Miksys ventured to village discos in Lithuania — many rundown, backroad, Soviet-era community centers where the decor is questionable, and the people are often looking to f*ck or fight.
“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,” the artist writes. “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.”
According to Miksys, village discos are not as popular as they used to be. He relates modern-day discos to Lithuania’s pagan past:
“Andrei Tarkovsky has an amazing scene in Andrei Rublev showing medieval pagans celebrating the solstice. Naked villagers run around in the forest dancing, jumping over fires and having sex in the bushes. While it’s assumed that discos are a product of urban culture, it seems to me that these pagan traditions from the forest could have been the first discos.” See more village discos in our gallery.