The Face Of Donbas
The Face Of Donbas takes an intimate look into the lives of those living on both sides of Ukraine’s ongoing War (Both civilian and military).
By using a challenging and at times, risky flash system subjects are removed for their background, be it a trench, bombed out house, or graveyard – allowing the viewer to focus on the person and their story, not their war-torn and often chaotic surroundings.
Considered as ‘Europe’s Forgotten War’ the conflict had been defined by stark images (MH17, Euromaidan and trench warfare) leaving the everyday people who remain on the front and their complex perspectives on/relationship with the war in the shadows. This project gives a voice to the perpetrates, victims and bystanders of this conflict – capturing the true complexity of this grim conflict. If there is one thing I learned from the over 60 interviews and several months in the field it is that the ideological frontlines are far blurrier and wider than those established by military forces, and will live on long after peace is negotiated.
Through their eyes and body language the viewer is able to feel their pain, their loss and sadness, there is anger and disdain, excitement and pride, arrogance and fear, and in some, hope – a wholistic and realistic painting the war in all its complexities.
If you are interested in an exhibition or the publification of this project please reach out.
This project would not have been possible without the commitment of Diana Chipak who joined me in the field – helping lessen the mental blow of spending long periods in a conflict zone. In order to help maintain the privacy and wellbeing of those featured in the series names and occasionally locations have been altered.