Cz

Central and East Europe photojournalism

2014 * KYIV UKRAINE

Maidan: The Battle is on

It is easier to release the evil than to create angels

War will never cease to exist. Extreme aggression and death undermine the basic paradigm of safety and impose change on the scale of values. One can’t simply shake it off and think there will be better times when the tanks are gone and the dead are buried. What remains are the people, with scarred souls, and painful memories.

 

Even after its death, war lives on. Only it moves from the battle field into people’s homes. The demons come in the disguise of psychological traumas, depressions and nightmares. Relief may only come with time and coming to terms with the fact that nothing will ever be the same.

 

Thus tens of thousands of personal stories continue, though seemingly trivial, and for the mainstream media uninteresting. The very ones that are essential to my own understanding of the world.

 

And that is what made me go to Maidan.

 

From November till February, a war raged in Kiev. Hundreds of people died, thousands were injured, maimed or disappeared without a trace. Then there were the tens of thousands who witnessed the savage brutality and brought this experience back home with them, burned deep into their memories.

 

With the help of psychologists and social workers I looked for such stories all over Kiev, in darkenned flats, filled with pain and bitterness. These are the stories of ordinary people.

 

Soon after my return to Prague, a much harsher, conventional war broke out in Ukraine. A war which has already affected hundreds of thousands of people. A two hour flight from my home takes me there. For many of the people I know it is happenning on their doorsteps, this is why Ukraine is my concern.

 

The number of dead, and injured will grow. Like the scars on the soul, nightmares, depressions and their mini, personal stories will need to be expressed and told. As the Russian proverb says “it is easier to release the evil than to create angels”.

 

Evil is being released. And the angels? Still out of sight.

Projekt 'Maidan: The Battle is on' has been exhibited at Photokině 2014, Köln am rhein. Project was published  in magazine Kant and on LensCulture.com a Photo8.com.

An independent photojournalistic project of a Czech photojournalist Petr Toman covering social issues within East and Central Europe