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Ukrainian Warchive announces winners of the third wave of microgrants

This time, the archive supported 8 Ukrainian photographers who document the country's life during the war. Among the topics explored by the project authors are the rehabilitation of veterans with severe injuries, the lives of volunteers and civilians in Kherson, the humanitarian crisis in the Donetsk and Kharkiv regions, demining in the frontline zones, living conditions of internally displaced persons, and more.

On December 12, 2023, Ukrainian Warchive announced the winners of the third wave of microgrants. Eight photographers documenting Russian aggression in Ukraine and the lives of military and civilians during the war will receive 1000 euros each, along with support for promoting their projects.

For the first time, the archive team selected projects not from applications received through an open competition but based on recommendations from representatives of the professional community. Photographers, photo editors, curators, and leaders of photographic institutions proposed candidates for the grant, from which eight winners were chosen.

The main volunteer centre at the Lviv railway station. Photo by Nazar Furyk

"The idea of our grant is to support truly important projects. The opportunity to receive such assistance should be available to those who may not actively follow contest announcements," explains Ukrainian Warchive Director Emine Ziyatdinova. "Moreover, nominations from professionals are a way to expand the archive's base by introducing new names. Photographers working on the frontlines, leading professional communities, know their colleagues better, so it was important for us to hear their opinions."

All the winners of this wave work in different visual styles and thematic directions.

Kyiv photojournalist Anatoliy Stepanov has been documenting the war for almost ten years. He will spend the next six weeks working on the project "Ten Years," a narrative about the war in Ukraine from 2014 to the present, composed of 100 unpublished photos.

Kherson, 2022. Photo by Nicoletta Stoyanova

Another winner, portraitist Igor Yefimov from Cherkasy, will continue working on the "Unbroken" project – stories of the rehabilitation of Ukrainian soldiers who suffered severe injuries in the war.

"My goal is not only to support the immediate participants-heroes, reconcile them with the new reality but also to show this new reality to a wider audience, make veterans more visible to society, convey to people that we cannot turn away from these warriors; on the contrary, they deserve and need our attention and respect," says Igor Yefimov.

Winners of the third wave of Ukrainian Warchive microgrants

Nazar Furyk (project "Kherson") will continue working on a series of photographs about Kherson and Kherson Oblast, highlighting volunteer initiatives that help the civilian population of the region.

Nikoletta Stoyanova ("Broken Matrix") will explore how the civilian population is adapting to war, highlighting the contrasts faced by those returning from the front.

Danilo Dubchak ("On the Edge of Sands") will work on a series of reports on the lives of internally displaced persons in modular towns in Zaporizhia, addressing the additional challenges faced by adults and children living in temporary homes during winter.

Yakov Lyashenko ("Ruined Lives") documents the lives of people in the front-line towns and villages of Kharkiv and Donetsk regions. The author's plan includes creating a platform to make these heroes more visible in society.

Sofia Homin ("Animapolis of War") focuses on the issue of pets whose owners have died or hastily evacuated, leaving their beloved animals. Her project tells the story of the traumas, especially psychological, of animals in the frontline areas and the people who rescue them.

Kostiantyn Polishchuk ("Poisoned Land") investigates the issue of mined territories in Ukraine.

Ihor Yefimov ("Unbreakable") explores the problem of rehabilitation and visibility of severely wounded soldiers with amputations in society.

Anatoliy Stepanov ("Ten Years") will work with his own archive to create a story out of one hundred photographs documenting the war in Ukraine since 2014.

Chernihiv, Ukraine, June 2022. Photo by Nazar Furyk

The winning projects will be included in the archive, and the best works will be presented at exhibitions and screenings planned by Ukrainian Warchive in 2024.

In total, 28 Ukrainian photographers have received grants from Ukrainian Warchive. The projects of ten authors will be featured in the book "13 Stories of War," which Ukrainian Warchive is preparing for publication in collaboration with the Hasselblad Foundation and the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna (IWM).

Works by Elizaveta Bukreeva, Yana Kononova, Yulia Kochetova, Roman Bordun, Ivanna Sidach, Sasha Kurmaz, Serhii Polezhaka, Viacheslav Ratinsky, Vladislav Musienko, Olena Grom, and Roman Pashkovsky were presented at individual and group exhibitions in Sweden: at the Center of Photography in Stockholm, the Rikstolvan gallery, and Radhuset in Ulricehamn.

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