Testament '22

29 images Created 25 May 2022

In May 2022, I met Natalya, a mother mourning her son, who is buried in the Irpin cemetery near Kyiv. In the weeks prior, hundreds of bodies were exhumed in the area surrounding Bucha. She told me how her realtor son Alexander, 40, was killed as he tried to rescue her while Russian troops entered the city as she hid in an underground shelter. Two weeks after coming out of hiding, Alexander's wife informed her mother-in-law about her son's fate. She said, "when volunteers found him, he showed signs of torture and had a gunshot wound to the back of the head." She is one of the many individuals I met with similarly horrific stories.

The pictures intend to be a personal testament highlighting humanity amid the senseless tragedy's incalculable costs.

The title of this project comes from my take on the original poem "Testament" (Zapovit, 1845) by Taras Shevchenko, whose literary works are considered the basis of modern Ukrainian literature and, to a considerable extent, of the modern Ukrainian language.

"When I die, then make my grave
High on an ancient mound,
In my own beloved Ukraine," -Taras Shevchenko
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