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  • When I arrived in Kiev,

  • on February 1 this year,

  • Independence Square was under siege,

  • surrounded by police loyal to the government.

  • The protesters who occupied Maidan,

  • as the square is known,

  • prepared for battle,

  • stockpiling homemade weapons

  • and mass-producing improvised body armor.

  • The Euromaidan protests began peacefully at the end of 2013,

  • after the president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych,

  • rejected a far-reaching accord with the European Union

  • in favor of stronger ties with Russia.

  • In response, tens of thousands of dissatisfied citizens

  • poured into central Kiev to demonstrate against this allegiance.

  • As the months passed,

  • confrontations between police and civilians intensified.

  • I set up a makeshift portrait studio by the barricades on Hrushevsky Street.

  • There, I photographed the fighters against a black curtain,

  • a curtain that obscured the highly seductive and visual backdrop

  • of fire, ice and smoke.

  • In order to tell the individual human stories here,

  • I felt that I needed to remove the dramatic visuals

  • that had become so familiar and repetitive within the mainstream media.

  • What I was witnessing was not only news, but also history.

  • With this realization,

  • I was free from the photojournalistic conventions

  • of the newspaper and the magazine.

  • Oleg, Vasiliy and Maxim were all ordinary men,

  • with ordinary lives from ordinary towns.

  • But the elaborate costumes that they had bedecked themselves in

  • were quite extraordinary.

  • I say the word "costume"

  • because these were not clothes that had been issued

  • or coordinated by anyone.

  • They were improvised uniforms

  • made up of decommissioned military equipment,

  • irregular combat fatigues and trophies taken from the police.

  • I became interested in the way they were choosing to represent themselves,

  • this outward expression of masculinity,

  • the ideal of the warrior.

  • I worked slowly, using an analog film camera

  • with a manual focusing loop and a handheld light meter.

  • The process is old-fashioned.

  • It gives me time to speak with each person

  • and to look at them, in silence, while they look back at me.

  • Rising tensions culminated in the worst day of violence

  • on February 20,

  • which became known as Bloody Thursday.

  • Snipers, loyal to the government,

  • started firing on the civilians and protesters on Institutskaya Street.

  • Many were killed in a very short space of time.

  • The reception of the Hotel Ukraine became a makeshift morgue.

  • There were lines of bodies laid in the street.

  • And there was blood all over the pavements.

  • The following day, President Yanukovych fled Ukraine.

  • In all, three months of protests

  • resulted in more than 120 confirmed dead

  • and many more missing.

  • History unfolded quickly,

  • but celebration remained elusive in Maidan.

  • As the days passed in Kiev's central square,

  • streams of armed fighters

  • were joined by tens of thousands of ordinary people,

  • filling the streets in an act of collective mourning.

  • Many were women who often carried flowers

  • that they had brought to lay as marks of respect for the dead.

  • They came day after day

  • and they covered the square with millions of flowers.

  • Sadness enveloped Maidan.

  • It was quiet and I could hear the birds singing.

  • I hadn't heard that before.

  • I stopped women as they approached the barricades

  • to lay their tributes

  • and asked to make their picture.

  • Most women cried when I photographed them.

  • On the first day, my fixer, Emine, and I cried

  • with almost every woman who visited our studio.

  • There had been such a noticeable absence of women

  • up until that point.

  • And the color of their pastel coats,

  • their shiny handbags,

  • and the bunches of red carnations,

  • white tulips and yellow roses that they carried

  • jarred with the blackened square

  • and the blackened men who were encamped there.

  • It is clear to me that these two sets of pictures

  • don't make much sense without the other.

  • They are about men and women and the way we are --

  • not the way we look, but the way we are.

  • They speak about different gender roles in conflict,

  • not only in Maidan, and not only in Ukraine.

  • Men fight most wars and women mourn them.

  • If the men showed the ideal of the warrior,

  • then the women showed the implications of such violence.

  • When I made these pictures,

  • I believed that I was documenting the end of violent events in Ukraine.

  • But now I understand that it is a record of the beginning.

  • Today, the death toll stands around 3,000,

  • while hundreds of thousands have been displaced.

  • I was in Ukraine again six weeks ago.

  • In Maidan, the barricades have been dismantled,

  • and the paving stones which were used as weapons during the protests replaced,

  • so that traffic flows freely through the center of the square.

  • The fighters, the women and the flowers are gone.

  • A huge billboard depicting geese flying over a wheat field

  • covers the burned-out shell of the trade union's building

  • and proclaims,

  • "Glory to Ukraine.

  • Glory to heroes."

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause).

When I arrived in Kiev,

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【TED】Anastasia Taylor-Lind: Fighters and mourners of the Ukrainian revolution (Anastasia Taylor-Lind: Fighters and mourners of the Ukrainian revolution)

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    Zenn posted on 2017/07/09
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