Master class for photographers working in conflicts

“The Work of Photographers in the Situations of Conflict” is a master class led by Yuliia Kochetova and Zorii Fain on 16 January in America House Kyiv. The discussion of the work of a photographer in crisis took place within the exhibition entitled “Through the Camera Lens: Life in Transition Through the Eyes of Youth” that was open in Kyiv.

The exhibition and the master class are a partnership between the International Institute for Regional Media and Information (IRMI-Ukraine), National Geographic Ukraine and USAID’s Confidence Building Initiative.

Around 40 photographers, photojournalists and all those interested in photography and working in crisis participated in the event. The master class hosted both amateurs and experienced photographers.

Yuliia Kochetova that travelled to the ATO zone for work on a number of occasions talked about the subtleties of personal and professional preparation.
– There were a lot of questions. For instance, about my motivation for going, whether being a girl did not hamper my work or if I had minutes when I wanted to quit it all and go back home. I displayed some of my photographs that were made in Ukraine’s conflict zones, Yuliia says.
To go to a conflict zone one needs to be prepared both physically and psychologically. One should know how to render first aid. How to establish a contact with soldiers and locals. One should be able to exercise self-control and introspection. It is also vital to be well-informed on what is going on. Yuliia believes that working in a conflict zone a photographer should be a multi tasker and very technically apt. There are occasions when one needs to run, make photographs and analyze the situation – all at the same time…

Zorii Fain talked about the cuisine of the photography with the classical standards that are still there to aspire to. He dwelt upon the works of renowned war photographers, the ways they saw the composition and the background. 

– War photography should be on the level, despite the conditions that make it complex. I showed the participants the best WW2 black and white photographs and told them how famous war photographers worked and the standards they adhered to. I tried to stretch the session with curious historic anecdotes to make it more interesting.

– I instruct my students that they should trot to mastery, step by step, being demanding to themselves in what craft they chose to follow, Zorii comments. (Zorii is a lecturer at The Vinnytsia State Pedagogical University named after Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky – author).

The master class is complete and the exhibition is underway. For about two weeks America House is going to be a true home for the photographs of young IDP photographers.

You are welcome to attend!


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