At the end of February 2022 two young Brand Managers from Kyiv – Dmytro Zubkov and Artem Skorokhodko, found themselves sheltering from Russian bombs in the basement of their pizzeria. Surrounded by strangers, also looking for refuge, two dogs and some friends, they decided to turn their restaurant into a charity kitchen for those in need. Their premises quickly turned into a full-blown volunteer centre and the reach of their help have spread to the nearby villages.
Having befriended local children from recently liberated villages, the idea for a photo project came naturally – alongside toys and colouring books local kids were offered disposable cameras, which they were free to use, as they please, to capture their everyday lives and show the rest of the world what growing up during wartime is like – the portraits of friends and pictures of flowers and pets comfortably coexist with images of destroyed houses, burnt military equipment and rocket shells. Each of the shots, at times illuminated or defocused, tells a story.
“It seems that when you look at these photos, you understand that children perceive everything differently. There is no tragedy there, they cope with it. It forces me to rethink my vision and attitude toward some things. It is what I would exactly like to transmit.”
This exhibition includes the works by nine children from Lukashivka, a village near the city of Chernihiv, which survived World War II, but was all but destroyed in 2022 as a result of Russian occupation. The photos present children’s untouched candid accounts of life after liberation.
Leith Library, Ferry Road, Edinburgh, UK