Life goes on

Jan Jurczak

2017 - 2018

Donetsk, Ukraine

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

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  • The road from Shyrokyne to Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast, May 2018

  • Hospital, Avdiivka, Donetsk suburbs, March 2018

  • Ukrainian Volunteer Army (UDA) outpost, Marinka, Donetsk suburbs, November 2017

  • Tanya praying, Avdiivka, Donetsk suburbs, May 2018

  • Vladimir (right) outside a morgue, Avdiivka, Donetsk suburbs, January 2018

  • Alina’s shower, Avdiivka, Donetsk suburbs, December 2017

  • Avdiivka, Donetsk suburbs, March 2018

  • A client of Irina’s in the makeup studio she opened in her room, Avdiivka, Donetsk suburbs, March 2018

  • Sveta and Vitaly doing laundry after a day ofparamedic training organised by the Ukrainian Volunteer Army (UDA), Right Sector base, Donetsk Oblast, October 2017

  • Medical supplies, Ukrainian Volunteer Army (UDA) outpost, Marinka, Donetsk suburbs, November 2017

  • New Year’s Day in the hospital, Avdiivka, Donetsk suburbs, January 2018

  • Power lines severed by artillery fire, Donetsk Oblast, May 2018

  • Ukrainian Volunteer Army (UDA) fighter in a makeshift base in an abandoned swimming pool, Marinka, Donetsk suburbs, November 2017

  • Andriej with his children, Avdiivka, Donetsk suburbs, December 2017

  • Inhabited block of flats damaged by artillery fire, Avdiivka, Donetsk suburbs, December 2017

  • Krakow Photomonth ShowOFF exhibition, Poland, May 2019

  • Nośna Gallery, Kraków, Poland, October 2019

  • PIX.HOUSE Gallery, Poznań, Poland, June 2019

  • Life Goes On publications with 100% of the prize supporting shelter in the conflict zone.


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