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Amputated spring

Photography, a young medium in art, emerged as a mechanism for the most accurate reflection of reality. Light passes through the lens and falls on a silver plate (film, matrix), capturing reality as it is at this very moment. But just as painting developed and moved away from realism, photography gradually ceased to be exclusively documentary. This medium allows you not only to capture the world around you but also to interact with it and even create your own.


The exhibition presents photography in its various manifestations: from classic lith print to digital collage. And now it’s turning into a tool for reflecting on the war. The authors look into the things that after February 24 became a new reality for us: torture, forced resettlement, mass rapings conveyed by the Russian military, and the faint but haunting feeling of a lost springtime.


Each new calendar page does not bring summer or autumn closer. Each new date continues the endless February, and spring is palpable only as phantom pain.


                                                                                                                                      - Alya Segal


The exhibition was implemented as part of the days of the current culture «MEREZHYVO» with the support of Kosmos Tabir.


«MEREZHYVO» is a collaboration of creative groups, independent artists, and cultural centers.

Olia Koval

Paper flowers on the grey, Chernihiv, 2022


A week before the full-scale invasion, the author photographed boys in military uniform, and before that – funeral plastic flowers placed in public places of her hometown. While installing them, Olya thought about other meanings and concepts, but after 24-th of February, she understood what it was all about:


«Premonition is like a heavy stretched string that helps me to navigate the plane of the unknown future. I bought these flowers at the beginning of the summer of 2021 but started to work on them only in the autumn. The main part was the atricalization of a place where flowers were laid, and the audience is an uncoordinated presence, voyeurs in other words. In this way, each time there was a unique performance with its own development, climax and denouement. I placed these flowers in different parts of my city: kindergartens, entrances, the train station. I especially liked the contrast between the gray autumn city and colorful memorial flowers.

As February began, it was difficult for me to remain in an informational vacuum. Reading news immediately shifted focus to this topic. I made this portrait the day before a full-scale invasion, in the hope that everything will work out».


Bogdan Gulyay

Monuments of Kyiv during the war, March-April 2022


It was cold spring, the end of March.

Cannonade thundered on the outskirts of Kyiv. Author was volunteering in a restaurant that prepared meals for the Ukrainian armed forces. After the work he was visiting famous Kyiv monuments, documenting how the city protects them from shellings and rocket strikes.

«Russian fascists wanted ukrainians to deny what they are and forget what values they share. But Ukrainians only had covered and hid these embodiments of Ukrainian history under the bags of sand. And they`ll open them again, just after the victory».

Julia Galeta

From the ongoing series «‎Bleeding», Kyiv, 2022


«This spring did not exist, something else happened instead.

It seemed that time had left our world and returned in exactly three months. We didn't have a spare second. We managed to treat only the most critical injuries. To stop the blood from getting in the eyes in order to see where to move next. But it seeped in anyway: through the webbing cracks in reality, in the least expected and most beautiful places. We are always in a hurry now. Just because it's the way, because it's easier, because we need to heal wounds faster. Perhaps, as people, we are even right, but the time does not grant such privilege – it passes as always, even if it seems that everything around has frozen. And then one day, quietly and imperceptibly, the summer comes».


Vitaliia Shchelkanova

Communication Check, grabbed online, 2022


This series of ZOOM portraits Vitaliya started way before full scaled invasion, she started it when the first lockdown hit. At that time, photos that were made remotely were perceived differently, people were apart due to pandemic. Today artist is once again forced to take photos of her models throught the screen of a laptop, but not because she’s unable find a cab to the downtown of Kharkiv. On the 2nd of March Vitaliya boarded on evacuation train headed to the West of Ukraine. When the initial shock passed and she felt urge to take photos again, but in the small town she was located in it was unreal to find models. Then photographer once again started holding ZOOM photoshoots, where she took photos of her friends from Kharkiv, that were, just as she was, forced to change their place of living due to russian aggression. This series captures interaction between models and their surroundings, that they found themselves in.

Olia Koval

Stone, created during the Menu Zone residency, Klaipeda, 2022


Stone is a collective image, a representation of conditions, in which me, my family and people close to me found themselves during the full-scaled invasion of russian occupiers. Constant migration of people from one place to another, huge crowding on train stations and bomb shelters, state of frustration due to persistent need of survival, all of this is encapsulated in this heaviness, like a stone that every person, who lost their home and was forced to run from bullets, felt.


«We were on our way for what seems an infinite amount of hours. Train Kyiv-Lviv was going its way through the night by messy train tracks heading to hope filled tomorrow. I could hear cries of adults and oblivious laughter of children. We boarded without a ticket, as most people did. We were united by the grief, that sneakily occupied our homes. First hour passed almost in an instant. While you look into dark February night through the window, you really can lose track of time.


– Mom, I’m okay, i boarded the train and will arrive to Lviv at night. You know how much I love you.

I’m trying to speak calmly and steadily, parents need it.


– Please, take it, eat some… I really want to treat you.

Old lady gives something to me, I take it, she needs it. I’m trying to breathe deeply, just to feel that I’m alive.

At some moment I’ve realized that i just can’t stand anymore. Physically.

This old lady with two of her dog named Grelka and Apricot (I remember their names vividly) and a cat named Mitya welcomed me warmly, I need it.

I really wanted to be with the person I love, but instead of hugging them, I was hugging Grelka and we are making our way to somewhere unknown.


All this narrative haloed me to compile my emotions and worries into some kind of playful form, into this stone, which resembles the lack of my personal space, with which me, my friends and my parents met, while we were hiding in our basements, bomb shelter and subway stations.

In Lviv I lived with five people for almost a month, in one bedroom flat.

Only when I moved to Klaipeda to Menų zona residence I got myself together.

I am thankful to Darius Vaicekauskas for an opportunity to be here and to create here.

This project was made possible due to support of Lithuanian Culture Council».

Ola Yeriemieieva

Untitled, created during the Working Roomresidency, Lviv, 2022


This photo project considers the horrors of Russian war crimes not as something new, but as a natural continuation of the tradition of the Soviet Terror and it explores the torture as the main tool of the Soviet and Russian army. Its relevance became obvious after the wide publication of photos from the freed town of Bucha.

Aestheticized and sexualized pictures pushes the viewer to look at the image through the eyes of the executioner.


Dima Tolkachov

The eyes, Kyiv, 2022


«If a rapist’s face is covered with a balaclava or a headband, one couldn’t see anything but his eyes. I think it amplifies fear and dispair because the victim will never have a chance to identify the assaulter and expect retribution. When the rapist is impersonal, he turns into an abstract violent body. Therefore, every man may be perceived by the victim as a potential attacker».

In this series was used the images of the russian soldiers suspected in commiting war crimes. Photos fouded in the open database of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine.

Victoria Likholet

Wartime diary, Kharkiv, 2022


«Since the beginning of the full-scale war, a blackout has been announced in Kharkiv. That practice was used during WWII and was aimed at concealing military and civilian objects from the enemy. Perhaps darkness, in general, is a synonym of war. Darkness is everywhere: outside and inside. There was less and less light every night – people were fleeing the war. The thought that you might be the only person left in the city was paralyzing with fear.


Since March 4, I have managed to recover from the first shock and started taking pictures of what I could see from my window. Amidst the total darkness, there were lights on in some of the places. It was a source of hope. Each dark photo – one day of the war – is my call for peace as soon as possible».

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