If a tree falls in a forest

  • Dates
    2022 - Ongoing
  • Author
  • Topics Portrait, War & Conflicts
  • Location Ukraine

This work is hope in the conditions of total uncertainty in wartime. Trying to hide the pain, fear, and hate, like hiding monuments behind sandbags, or covering broken windows with boards.

I started taking these pictures at the end of May 2022, just a month after russian occupation troops were defeated and left Kyiv and the northern regions of Ukraine. I was traveling around the region and was shocked by what I saw. I feel that I have to make pictures but didn’t have a clear idea of what to point at my camera. The environment was very chaotic. Looking through the matte screen of my large format camera, I understand that it is easier to relive the experience of the war, to distance from it. On the matte screen, the experience turned only into a cast of reality, a reproduction of it. So I started using photography as personal therapy.

The war simultaneously existed in all dimensions: real life and virtual. Images of war had penetrated our everyday life. Corpses, destroyed houses, scorched land — all this has become commonplace in the news feed and real life.

Against the backdrop of such psychological pressure, I was reminded of an old philosophical riddle: "If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound?" In this interpretation, sound is not only a physical phenomenon but also requires an observer to interpret and experience it. Therefore, if there is no observer, there is no sound.

I used it as an analogy to the mental state of a person experiencing very deep emotional stress and at the same time that requires a conscious being to perceive it.

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