Thursday, January 22, 2015

"Children of War" Photo Series Tells Stories of Youth in Wartime Ukraine

Over the past several months, the thrice-weekly Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta has featured five photo stories about children in the war zone of eastern Ukraine. There are three more reports to come, said the series creator, Yan Shenkman, a journalist in Moscow and a contributor to Novaya Gazeta, in an email.

"The idea of our project is quite simple - we take pictures of children affected by the conflict in Ukraine, and tell their stories. No analysis, no political showdown, only their stories. Monologues, for the most part," Shenkman told Truthout.

"The idea came from a friend, a writer and political activist Maxim Gromov. He had already worked on a similar project - 'The Children of Prisoners,'" Shenkman added.

"The aim of the project is to show that because of the conflict, the most vulnerable parts of the population suffer."

"The second participant in our project is well-known St. Petersburg photographer Vladimir Telegin. I offered the idea to the editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, Dmitry Muratov. That's how 'The Children of War' became a special project of the Novaya Gazeta. We have published five reports so far. There will be three more."

"After that," Shenkman continued, "I created a Facebook group to post the articles, photos and notes which were not included in the published reports in Novaya Gazeta. Soon, the group began to receive photos and notes from people who are doing similar things as well as posts of volunteers who work with children. I block any attempts at hate speech or aggressive expression in the Facebook group."

"We made three trips for the project - to the Rostov region of Russia, where we visited the refugee camps; to Donetsk city and the surrounding area; and thirdly to Slavyansk, Melitopol and Kharkiv which also have refugee camps. Volunteers from both sides helped us a great lot. If not for them, the whole thing wouldn't have worked."

Shenkman explained: "The aim of the project is to show that because of the conflict, the most vulnerable parts of the population suffer. And people are suffering on both sides. Children and their parents often don't even realize who and why is fighting and who is shooting at them."

Complete story at - "Children of War" Photo Series Tells Stories of Youth in Wartime Ukraine


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