Between Life and Death

Maxim Dondyuk

2017 - Ongoing


"Although war, perhaps, aims to achieve peace, it’s an undoubted evil", Lao Tzu.

War lets loose all the destructive forces of mankind against itself. What kind of insanity is this? War takes any meaning and breeds emptiness. An emptiness that burns all around leaving just ruins, storing the memories of war. Person’s mind, traumatized after the war, is like the deserted landscapes of ruins. They continue its existence, misunderstood and forgotten, searching for a new meaning in this changed world, living only with their memories of war.

I started my exploration of the territories devastated by the war in winter 2017. The route went along the border with self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics in Eastern Ukraine. The commotion of death appears in these images as absolute silence. Abandoned, devastated places that were flooded with blood and lead: schools, kindergartens, hospitals, factories, checkpoints. Now they look like deserted monuments of war.

Using landscape photography, a more intimate approach, allows me to convey the feelings more deeply. Sometimes thoughts of the past and the scars of war are much more painful for the people and the country that survived the war than the battles themselves. These feelings will never stop; they will remain for their whole lives.

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