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Fighting: Ukrainian War Photographers

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Fighting: Ukrainian War Photographers is an exhibition featuring images captured by sixteen Ukrainian artists and photojournalists who are documenting the invasion of their country by Russia. Organized for the U.S. by FotoFest and curated by Jan Pohribný and Igor Malijevský with support from the Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers, Fighting: Ukrainian War Photographers offers a firsthand, in-depth view into the efforts of Ukrainian citizens and military to preserve their sovereignty. 

In February 2022, the Russian military launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine to forcefully reclaim the former Soviet country as part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “Greater Russia” annexation project. Putin’s stated plan was to launch a rapid full-scale military campaign in Ukraine and achieve a quick surrender. To the surprise of Putin and the global intelligence community, a conflict predicted to last three to five weeks has, over a year later, persisted due to the resistance, bravery, and resilience of the Ukrainian people.

Fighting: Ukrainian War Photographers presents the stories of the Ukrainian people through the photographs of sixteen Ukrainian photographers who are serving on the frontlines of the Russian invasion. These photographers are dedicated to showing the world the insurmountable costs and deadly reality of war. Several of the included photographers have received Pulitzer Prize, World Press Photo, and the Ukrainian State Badge of Honor recognition for their commitment to public service and breaking news journalism.

The exhibition is divided into six discrete chapters: The Struggle, Flight, Death, Hope, An Ordinary War, and Mariupol, which in total contain 255 images that span from the documentation of destruction and loss of life to the ensuing Ukrainian refugee crisis and the strength and determination of Ukrainian citizens who have remained in their country to protect their homeland.

Fighting: Ukrainian War Photographers includes photographs by Pavlo Dorohoy, Andriy Dubchak, Yurko Dyachyshyn, Alexey Furman, Alena Grom, Mstyslav Chernov, Serhii Korovayny, Kostiantyn and Vlad Liberov, Evgeny Maloletka, Sergi Mykhalchuk, Mikhail Palinchak, Olga Kovalova, Danilo Pavlov, Viacheslav Ratynskyi, and Alina Smutko.

Fighting: Ukrainian War Photographers is on view at Silver Street Studios between October 5–November 18, 2023, with an opening reception taking place on October 5, 6–8PM. The exhibition is complemented by a series of free public programs including an exhibition tour, a contemporary classical concert co-presented with Musiqa, and a screening of Mstyslav Chernov’s acclaimed 2023 film 20 Days in Mariupol presented in partnership with the Holocaust Museum Houston.

The exhibition is presented with support from the Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers and the Association of Professional Photographers, Czech Republic.

Image: Andriy Dubchak / Donbas Frontliner, Children with a Ukrainian flag and uniforms flash the victory sign on the central square of Kherson during celebrations of the city’s liberation by the Ukrainian army. November 12, 2022. Courtesy of Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers.