Exhibition “.RAW Story of Changes of Ukrainians and Army” in Paris
On November 10, an exhibition was held at the gallery of the Cultural and Information Centre of the Ukrainian Embassy in France of photographs from the book “.RAW Story of Changes of Ukrainians and Army”. The event was timed to the exhibition “Modern Ukrainian Photography” held during the 2017 Paris Photo fair.
The exhibition was opened by Oksana Horbach, Director of the Department for Communication and Transformation Campaigns of the Centre for Strategic Communications StratCom Ukraine, and project curators Kostantin Chernichkin and Anna Voitenko.
“The exhibition and book .RAW don’t just show military events in eastern Ukraine from 2014 to 2016. They record the changes in the Ukrainian Army and society, because Ukraine changed as these events developed,” said Horbach. “The Army became stronger through reforms that have affected the way our guys are equipped and armed. In the photos we see in our warriors’ eyes the self-confidence and strength that was born of fear and concern. Ukrainian society changed in the same way – we learned that we are strong, that we have the power to defender our borders and Europe’s borders.”
The event was attended by representatives of the diplomatic corps in Paris, NGOs, Ukrainian and French artists.
“I am sincerely amazed by the strength and will of the Ukrainian people,” said exhibition guest Charlene Gautier. “In France we seldom hear about events in the east of Ukraine. This exhibition helps us better understand what the Ukrainian people have been through. It is important for Ukraine to inform Europe about developments on its territory. We should be aware that the military events there are ongoing.”
The exhibition was held with the support of the Ministry of Information Policy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
The photo book “.RAW Story of Changes of Ukrainians and Army” is a joint project of Centre for Strategic Communications Stratcom Ukraine and POLE ZORU creative group. The book brings together 137 snapshots of the life of the modern Ukrainian army. The purpose of the book is to document the formation of the new Ukrainian army through the accounts of eyewitnesses and direct participants of the process. The co-authors of the book are 33 photographers from Ukraine, Belarus and the United States: leading photojournalists and curators from Ukraine and abroad, including - Aleksandr Glyadyelov, Brendan Hoffman, Joseph Sywenkyj, Aleхander Vasukovich, and others.
This isn’t the first project by StratCom Ukraine to promote Ukraine’s cultural and public diplomacy. The publication “.RAW Story of Changes of Ukrainians and Army” is just one component of the two-year project “Army.Rebirth” launched in 2016. This project is the first attempt to compile the vast number of professional and amateur photographs from the start of the Maidan protests to the outbreak of war on Ukraine’s eastern front. A nationwide call for photographs resulted in a documentary chronicle of the modern Ukrainian army through the eyes of soldiers, volunteers and ordinary Ukrainians