Simon Crofts


Simon Crofts lived in Moscow during the transformations of the 90s and for much of the noughties in Poland. He now lives back in his native Scotland and regularly works for editorial clients such as the Telegraph Magazine, Der Spiegel, The Fader, and the Financial Times.



Expectations is a collection of visual poems about Ukraine that draw on literature, music, and history. Gathered around the themes of Fortune, Utopia, Fear and Memory, it places the images among recollections and interviews from the author's experiences in Ukraine and Russia that developed over two decades. In Chekhov's short story "Fortune", two shepherds discuss the nature of human happiness. They imagine finding a crock of Scythian gold buried beneath one of the burial mounds that poke out of the flat southern Ukrainian steppe. For the shepherds, the idea of good fortune, the process of dreaming about a hypothetical treasure and what they might do with it, is a more real happiness than the remote prospect of actually finding it. They are not alone. Ukraine is a land of perpetually unfulfilled hopes, the child of a failed utopian dream. And now it has fallen into a tug of war between closer integration with the rest of the world on the one hand versus humiliation at economic collapse and loss of an empire stoked by an understandable pride in the sacrifices of the past.