Photographer: Jean-Marc Caimi and Valentina Piccinni
About the series: What do you see when you close your eyes?
A simple question was asked to a group of Ukrainian soldiers of a military base near Donetsk, prior to their departure for the front line. A polaroid was taken and their visions and dreams individually annotated in a diary. A photo portrait shot on the backdrop of an inner panorama of emotions, ranging from simple hopes, fears and wishes, to philosophical considerations. A farewell from people undertaking a life threatening journey to war while seeking for their ideal of peace.
With this work we are searching for a new way of recounting the war, focused on human beings rather than the clashes, in an attempt to get viewers to better empathize with the subjects and therefore understand crucial aspects of the ongoing conflict.
The Donbass conflict started after the 2014 revolution of Euromaidan. Following the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, the tense situation in the East escalated into an armed conflict involving separatist Russian-backed forces and the Ukrainian Governmental Army with volunteer paramilitary battalions. Despite two ceasefire agreements, the clashes have not ceased in several towns. After 15 months of conflicts the Donbass war has taken more than 6,500 lives.
About the Photographer: Jean-Marc Caimi and Valentina Piccinni’s work focuses both on documentary projects and on more personal intimate photography. They have been working as freelancers for the New York based agency Redux Pictures for several years.
Their recent documentary projects include a series of features on the Donbass conflict, religious pilgrimages in the era of Pope Francis, the Maidan revolution in Ukraine and an extensive work about a mafia-ridden neighborhood in Naples.
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