2017 - 2018
Life Goes On
‘Death, as with love, is where I draw the line on documentation. It is too deep within the realm of human privacy for me to photograph it’.
The photographs in Life Goes On were taken in Donetsk Oblast, Eastern Ukraine, in towns mere kilometres from the front lines. Jan Jurczak grew particularly attached to one resilient community of locals in Avdiivka, a suburb of the city of Donetsk, to which he paid frequent visits. It was Elena who rented an entire floor of flats, making rooms available to those who were homeless. Residents fixed up a space for dance lessons and other activities. Irina, a makeup artist, whose son was killed by shelling, lives on the floor. Next to her reside Tanya and Tanya’s young daughter, Kristina. Irina, Tanya, and Kristina have no homes of their own. To the right of Irina’s room is a larger room, which Elena converted into a makeshift Protestant church, containing a handful of chairs, an old TV, and a standing cross. Here, two realities overlap. Life and war, love and death.
The media has little airtime left for the conflict in Ukraine. And it has even less for stories about life during wartime.
The war in Ukraine has been raging since 2014.
Monika Szewczyk-Wittek; photo editor, curator, and author of texts on photography