Kiew Kultur

Cinematographic. Xenia Snapiro

I personally perceive documentary photography as a type of movie making. When I go outside and take photos of the ordinary life around me, especially in countries like Ukraine and Russia, everything becomes cinematographic.

In those countries I have the opportunity to see what has changed over the years and what has remained the same. I understand the people living there well and with the help of photography, I manage to document important aspects in the process of exploring cities or observing how life goes on there.

Many of these photos were taken during my 30-day project, a research, for which I specially flew to Ukraine in November-December 2020.  Every day I made documentations about life in Ukraine, trying to convey the atmosphere that was actually there during the time before the lockdown. I asked people questions about their everyday life in Ukraine, what plans they have, what they think about the lockdown and, how they feel in general. The purpose of the study was to observe and capture the life of the city as it is.

You know…it’s hard to explain. I’ve been through stuff, and even been in prison, which means, my freedom has already been taken away from me, but back then I knew that this was happening officially, and for a certain period of time. And now there is complete uncertainty. We cannot do anything, because in fact there was no freedom at all from the beginning, and to break out of the crowd or start a protest most likely means to die. – M. 42 y.o.

xenia snapiro winter ukraine

Sometimes I look at the people, at the authorities in our country, at the events taking place around, and I think: „Well, what are they, worse than animals!“. And then I stop for a second, and the understanding comes to my mind, that I am not better than any of them, I am exactly the same. V. 28 y.o.

xenia snapiro winter ukraine

I am a religious person and cannot afford to somehow be associated with corruption, so building a business from 0 is too difficult for me. I want to live in a country where an honest me will feel safe. A. 36 y.o.

My next visit to Ukraine is scheduled for March 2021 and I want to make this project a lot bigger, visit more cities, and prepare thoroughly. Also, I have some ideas for a photobook with personal stories and portraits. Unfortunately, I am currently unable to fly to Russia and support the people who come out to protests. I don’t like the politics of this country, but I like the people who courageously fight for equal rights, honesty and fairness towards everyone.

Xenia Snapiro –