Photo Book "13 Stories of War" by Ukrainian Warchive, Showcasing the Essence of the Russo-Ukrainian War Through Powerful Imagery and Text

Documenting Ukraine

"Through our collaboration with Misha Pedan, co-editor of the book, our goal was to highlight the authors' personal ties to the moments they captured in these projects. Despite the backdrop of ongoing military violence, these documentary photographers and artists have been courageously living, working, and sharing the realities of Ukraine with the world since the Russian invasion. As the photo editor, curating these powerful photo stories brings home the photographers’ resilience and resistance. Each essay varies in approach, style, and subject matter. We chose to pair each essay with personal texts to convey rawness and immediacy." - Emine Ziyatdinova, co-editor of the book and co-founder of the Ukrainian Warchive.

The IWM supported the book within the framework of its Documenting Ukraine project. Kseniya Kharchenko, Project Manager, underscores the book's significance as a historical document capturing the effects of Russian military aggression on the people of Ukraine:

"The Documenting Ukraine project within the IWM in Vienna was initiated in March 2022, immediately following the Russian full-scale invasion. As we began compiling images for our wartime archive, we were struck by the shocking scenes we saw. Over the course of two years, the public has grown accustomed to images of destroyed buildings and dead bodies, with many becoming desensitized to their impact. We realized it is no longer enough to show such images from war. The compelling photographic art featured in this book is presented in a way that makes it hard for people to look away. Through the lens of these photographers, some of whom are part of the IWM community, we are presented with a nuanced portrayal of life amidst conflict. Each photo story invites us to immerse ourselves in the stories of war. By supporting this book and its photographic collection, our aim is to urge people to acknowledge the ongoing plight of those in Ukraine, who are suffering even as we speak."

Swedish photojournalist Paul Hansen wrote the foreword for the book. In it, he emphasizes the relevance of the images, the depth these testimonies bring to the reader, and how they initiate a deeper conversation about the impact of military violence on Ukraine.

“The stories and testimonies in this book are not only photographs. They are beautiful, brutal, present, and personal––photographic adjectives, filled with content that is deeper and more relevant than most news photography can ever hope to be. But, perhaps most importantly, they are historical documents, visual evidence to be presented in a future where the fog of war has cleared, and justice once again prevails.” (From the foreword by Paul Hansen)

All photographs are part of the Ukrainian Warchive (Ukrainian Photo Archive of War), a digital archive that collects and preserves still images from professional photographers documenting the Russo-Ukrainian War. The project aims to protect the photographic heritage and memory of the war and support Ukrainian photographers documenting the events in Ukraine.

The photographers and projects in the book:

Julia Kochetova - War is Personal 
Yana Kononova - Radiations of War
Evgeniy Maloletka - The Siege of Mariupol
Lisa Bukreyeva - Do Not Look at the Pain of Others
Roman Pashkovskiy - The Torture Rooms
Alena Grom - This Mad, Mad World
Sergii Polezhaka- Naїve Ukrainian Gardens
Dmytro Kozatskyi - Azovstal
Sasha Kurmaz - Red Horse
Alexander Glyadyelov - War 
Olia Koval - 12 Frames
Viacheslav Ratynskyi - New Ordinary?
Roman Bordun - Let’s Keep it for Better Times

The book has been supported by the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna (Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen, IWM) as part of the Documenting Ukraine program; the Hasselblad Foundation; and the Swedish Institute.

Upcoming book release events:

28 March, 19:00–21:00 - Naked Room Gallery in Kyiv, Ukraine

May 2024 - Book Arsenal

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