A Photo Exhibit Featuring the Fates of IDPs Launched in Kyiv

The exhibition of photos taken during the National Geographic Photocamp-Ukraine by young amateur photographers – all displaced- was launched in America House (Pymonenka Str. 6) and is going to be on display for two weeks on. The event was supported by USAID’s Ukraine Confidence Building Initiative and organized by the International Institute for Regional Media and Information (IRMI) in cooperation with National Geographic-Ukraine.

The opening day brought in a lot of people – visitors and journalists. The authors met the guests, let them in, chatted with them, commented on journalists’ questions, put up multimedia presentations and led discussions.

Alina Polyanskaya and Victoriia Borodatova told the audience how during the Photocamp the students would try to find the ways to start a conversation with their heroes and how they managed to win their trust and people would open up. In their multimedia presentation the girls displayed the photographs – 5 from each of 20 students – that had been taken during the Photocamp but were not selected for the exhibition.

The stories of photographs that had been made beyond the Photocamp project and made difference to the lives of the displaced people they featured became a subject of discussion led by Yelena Shunkina.

Anastasia Turpetko invited the guests to think of what impact photography may have. May it turn into a therapy of some sort for both the photographer and the protagonist? By the way, the question raised evoked professional discussion even among experienced photographers present at the event. Is a photographer there to document things being ambient or, apart from reflecting the reality, to leave an imprint of their individuality on their works?

Oleksiy Soldatenko, IRMI-Ukraine’s Program Director believes the exhibition is displayed in the right time.

– With the project our striving was to give the floor to amateur photographers, so that they would feature the lives of the displaced – the lives of their own compatriots – unwinding the stereotypes that are still there in the Ukrainian society.”

– We could not even imagine that the photographs that we were taking during the week would be seen by the whole of Ukraine! That is incredible! Any person can make photographs and see stories and our photographs show how we saw them, Anastasia Turpetko said.

– I was amazed at how good the students are, says Bill Mc Carthy – a photographer from Canada. Looking at the photos I noticed how well the students had connected with their subjects. It shows in the photographs, making them so vivid.

On Saturday – 16 January – the key event is going to be a master class entitled “The Work of Photographers in the Situations of Conflict” led by Yuliia Kochetova and Zorii Fain who are professional photographers. 

The master class is a partnership between International Institute for Regional Media and Information (IRMI-Ukraine) and USAID’s project Ukraine Confidence Building Initiative. 


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