War is not over by Yasha Zhylin

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My name is Yasha. I’m a photographer from Kyiv, Ukraine. 

Now I’m at home in my city and there is the war going on in my country. Currently, attention to this issue from abroad has subsided. Although the question is still relevant.

Still…

We’re still hearing sirens, we’re still losing people, we’re still under the gun. War is not over!

Since I am an artist, I occupy the cultural and information front of this war. Being here, in our country, where at 5 in the morning on February 24, Russia started a war (with the support of Belarus), I realized that I cannot remain silent and must shout about it. Therefore, I prepared a film photo project on this topic “War is not over”. Because this is now the life of all Ukrainians and me too. 

Reading the news every day, reviewing the materials, hearing the sounds of sirens and explosions, shaking, worrying about everyone, tears, pain… – all this formed this project and is its foundation.

In the project, I show my vision as of today, which is based on real events in Ukraine, (as well as the picturesque beauty of my native land and my little sister).

In the project, I use one of my favourite genres of art – still life.

In Kyiv on the 24th, preparing important things for an emergency, I could not help but take the camera.  I understood that when leaving somewhere for a safer place, I would need to create even in such conditions. This project was already in my head. Something about the war.

For the first month I read and watched the news every day, wrote down, collected all the visual of the incidents … It was not easy psychologically.  This is not setting the mood for a fashion shoot.  This is real news and incidents outside the window, real deaths and losses, real war.  Based on the collected material, I sketched ideas and looked for visual forms to convey the story.  In my grandmother’s attic, I found the necessary props in the form of toys of rockets, grenades, soldiers … My grandmother had everything I needed, her old jewelry, crystal, flowers, seedlings, soil, … and most importantly, views of Ukrainian nature and the sky.

A project about today’s war realities in Ukraine and about the beauty of our country. The project was filmed during the second-third month of the war, when I was with my grandmother in a village in the Dnipro.

My sister’s name is Anastasia, she is 11 years old.

As a family, we try to protect her from global experiences. But her main feeling in the context of war is fear.  Especially during nighttime air raid alerts and missile whistles. As a brother, I maintain a positive line of communication, amuse and entertain her in order to reduce possible stress.  At my grandmother’s in the village in the evenings we watched cartoons and films in an embrace.

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