VIRTUAL GALLERY "SEE THE CHILDREN"
We present you photos of two Ukrainian photographers Andrei Maksimov and Sasha Maslov.
In Donetsk, Andrei Maksimov worked as a photographer of "Donbass" hockey club. Filmed games, traveled with the team to away matches and as he says lived in this sport. In summer 2014, he and his family moved to Kyiv. At first, he had to take on any work: filmed weddings and other celebrations, family photo shoots, advertising projects. But now 32-year-old Andrey is a popular photographer who shoots stars. Sasha Maslov is famous for his portrait photography. Sasha lives and works in New York and has been shooting for The New York Times, Esquire and many other publications for about 10 years. His photographs show actors, politicians and representatives of big business. Each shooting by Maslov is a carefully thought-out, meticulous work.
We gave each of them the opportunity to spend a few days in the villages of Luhansk region, just a few kilometers from the contact line. Speak with children, play football, talk to parents, walk through the village to best show their daily life, dreams, routine and that the life continues life goes on despite the war nearby.
Katya lives in a nearby village, she spends an hour and a half on the bus every day to get to school and return home. She is currently in 10th grade and will be taking her final exams next year. Like many of her friends, she dreams of going to the big city to study. Like every child here, it is difficult for her to remember the war. '' Yes, on the one hand, we are used to the war near, to shots, explosions, but I often have flashbacks. For example, when it rains in the summer, I have unpleasant associations with shots '' Nyzhnie, Luhanska oblast
I was 8 when the war started in summer 2014. I felt the explosions were getting closer and closer as the earth was constantly shaking and then a “boom” sound. It was scary. My dad dug a bomb shelter. I did not go out to play. Sometimes I stayed in the yard, but when the familiar sound was heard, my dad was shouting “Air raid alarm, everyone get to the bomb shelter!” I believe in a better future, however, I would feel safer if our school had a bomb shelter. We fled the war for a while and went to Kremenchuk. I got interested in mechanics there, and how bicycles work. I assembled one bicycle from different pieces on my own and I am still riding it. When we feel sad, we have a talk with my mum. It is important to talk. The war taught me to appreciate peace.
When the war started, I was finishing the 2nd grade of school. I was very scared. We had to move to another country. When I could not go to school, I did not know what to do as I did not have a hobby or a sport to play. But I met friends who taught me to play checkers and football and I started developing new skills in these games. When we got back home, I was scared, window glass was shaking from the explosives. There were times when we had to spend a night in the basement. Every time I want to get away, I go to play either football or checkers, and I am getting better and better in this. We with my friend understand that if we want a brighter future we need to do something for this. We regularly clean the lake in our village picking up the garbage from it. We believe it matters
Maxim is in the ninth grade in the village of Muratove, where shots are constantly heard, it is a few kilometres from the contact line. And to find the remains of shells in the yard or other reminders of the war that is near - this will not surprise anyone. It's scary when children talk about the houses where the shells hit, about the friends who left, about the hopelessness of the future.
But there are still dreams. Max loves to play football. Three times a week, he and two other friends are taken to a football section by a local priest in a town 30 kilometres away. ``It's so cool, it's an opportunity for me to break out and forget everything. I look forward to each new day when we go to play football``.
This Gallery is a part of a humanitarian project that was made possible thanks to support from the European Union through its Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department (ECHO). You can find out more about EU humanitarian projects at https://ec.europa.eu/echo and by subscribing to ec.humanitarian.aid facebook page.