Spring in Kyiv Region Coming Back to Life: Roman Pashkovsky’s Report
Ukrainian photographer who lives and works in Kyiv. He has his own photo school and is a member of collective and personal exhibitions in Ukraine and Switzerland.
— In the days following the Kyiv region liberation, all photographers rushed there. Their works were full of hatred and pain, as if saying: look what the russian troops have done. But now photography is mainly an inner dialogue. I want to feel that pain, fix it in my own manner.
I started going to Bucha, Irpin, Borodianka and Hostomel as soon as it became possible, sometime in early April. Besides, I am also volunteering: bringing humanitarian goods there, and at times also foreign journalists as well. Last time that I took pictures there was May 3. These photos will definitely turn into a project, but I still don’t publish the whole thing anywhere, sharing only some particular pictures.
There are not many houses still up in these cities. The usual things like noise and children’s laughter are yet to return there for quite some time. But the streets are cleaned from the machinery and debris. And those coming back have already put up with a fact that it won’t be the same. The sight of trees in bloom makes it clear that life goes on.
The sight of trees in bloom makes it clear that life goes on.
I saw many houses in ruins, but they didn’t evoke much emotion in me, perhaps it’s because I have a place to live. It’s a whole different story when it comes to children with their lives ruined. Elderly people dying looks like a grim life’s end, but when a little boy’s father is dying, we talk about the life that’s not even begun yet. I have a child who’s now in safety. But here is a child her age who’s already burying his dad. So when I last visited the graveyard and saw a dead soldier’s photo, I burst into tears.
I talk to people, but I have no idea how to take portraits now. It’s very hard. Let’s say, a person is telling me about a missile striking his house: it went up in flames, so he had to cover his face with a rag and move towards the back door, while it turned out to be blocked. But these type of stories are usually told in a calm voice, the residents in these cities realize that it’s better to lose a house than their freedom.