BETWEEN LIFE & DEATH | What kind of insanity is War? It breaks into our life without knocking. It turns all around upside down, throws us out of our homes, takes our relatives and friends, ruins dreams and intentions. War takes away any meaning. It breeds emptiness that burns all around, and leaves ruins, storing the memories of war.
he idea of the project ﬁrst appeared in 2014, while I was documenting the armed conﬂict in Eastern Ukraine. Then I spent two months with pro-Russian groups in the Donbass and saw how a counter-revolution began. After, I was from the Ukrainian army side. During the breaks, I started photographing barren landscapes of the Donbass, which fascinated with its silence and static, but at the same time frightened. Areas that had recently witnessed bloody clashes, now stood abandoned in an absolute silence. Slowly I started forgetting the machine-gun ﬁre, mortar attacks, bruised wounded bodies. But stress hadn’t gone. The traces that war left, the smell of fear, destroyed hopes, hatred, pain, again and again brought me back to reality.
n winter 2017 I came back to Donbass to continue exploring the landscape of war, the scars that war left not only in human souls, but also at territories. And how these scars affect on people’s life. My route went along the border with self-proclaimed the Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics (LPR and DPR). Panoramas show how the conﬂict has scarred and transformed the land, the appearance of the cities that survived the war, the ruins of people’s homes, the objects that sometime ago were strategically important, but now were standing abandoned. Life isn’t pictured on photos, but looking on them, you can imagine what life is like within that landscape.
his war has changed the signiﬁcance and original purpose of objects and constructions. Schools, factories, plants have turned into military positions and fortiﬁcations. The war has changed both people and territories in a short period of time. maximdondyuk.com