A year on from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a photography exhibition at the Imperial War Museum seeks to shine a light on the years leading up to the invasion, and its bloody aftermath. The exhibition shows off photographs from photojournalist Anastasia Taylor-Lind, who has been covering the country ever since the Orange revolution in 2004/5.

It may seem odd to have a photographic exhibition of a war that’s on our televisions most nights as you can see far more of what’s going from your home. Yet, news reports are often, of necessity, rushed and brief, but careful static photography can sometimes convey a depth of meaning that needs time to soak in the psyche.

A quiet room of photos from a war can leave a person more moved than more hours of television news reports could.

The IWM’s exhibition opens with Yevhen Shulga, an injured civilian first photographed in Kyiv during the 2014 Maidan protests for democracy, but it also closes with the same man, now some years later and a soldier fighting to protect his country from the Russian war machine.

Along the way, we meet a grieving mother, soldiers building wooden barriers, a family maintaining as normal life as possible considering that they’re right next to the front line.

We see a soldier relaxing, as it seemed from a distance, to be on a leather sofa in a posh wood lined room, until you walk closer and realise that antique wooden wall is actually piles of weapons boxes ready to be used.

We see a mass grave.

Alongside these images, the exhibition includes perspectives from those on both sides of the camera. During her time in Ukraine, Anastasia worked alongside long-term collaborator and friend, Ukrainian journalist Alisa Sopova. Alisa’s voice is heard throughout the exhibition by way of captions and wall texts.

Quotes from people Anastasia photographed also reflect on the harsh realities of the war. It brings to life the human stories of a handful of individuals within this conflict which has affected millions.

The exhibition includes Ukrainian language translations of the exhibition text and image captions.

As an exhibition, it delivers a quiet calm reminder of a war that we have almost become maybe a bit too familiar with while watching it at a safe distance on the television, and it renews our emotional connection to the horrific lives that Ukrainians have suffered since Russia’s war started.

The exhibition, Ukraine: Photographs from the Frontline is at the Imperial War Museum until 8th May and is free to visit.


Be the first to know what's on in London, and the latest news published on ianVisits.

You can unsubscribe at any time from my weekly emails.

Tagged with:

This website has been running now for over a decade, and while advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, it doesn't cover the costs. That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It's very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether it's a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of this website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what you read on here, then please support the website here.

Thank you

Home >> News >> London exhibitions