“My story explores modern Ukraine in turmoil, with the Dnieper River as a metaphor of present split in the country – says Justyna Mielnikiewicz. – I have completed six trips to Ukraine, talking to people in the key places which shaped the history of today. I asked them what it means to be Ukrainian, if the river is a border or the main artery of the country and why there is a war in the East. For the last 300 years, one part of Ukraine has been oriented towards Moscow, another towards Europe. Central Ukraine and Kiev are pro-Western today. The right bank lands have been commonly considered the heartland of ethnic Ukrainian territory while the left bank was under Russia. Even today’s eastern and western Ukraine has different versions of recent Soviet history. The project started in 2008 in Crimea and was continued between 2014- 2015. Since the time of Maidan Euro-Revolution in Kiev I have been following people and places, showing how they have changed or not, and how the war in East Ukraine has made a mark on the whole nation.”
Justyna Mielnikiewicz – award-winning Polish photographer living in Tbilisi. She worked as a reporter for “Gazeta Wyborcza”, now mainly works in the countries of the former Soviet Union. She collaborates with “New York Times”, “Newsweek,” Monocle “,”Russian Reporter”,”National Geographic”,”Le Monde” and the German yearbook Reporters Without Borders. Her works are promoted by Getty Reportage. From 2001 until 2013 she worked on a project devoted to the southern Caucasus – in 2014 published a book “Woman with a Monkey. Caucasus in Short Notes and Photographs.” In recent years, she primarily focused on her Ukraine project.
More: www.justmiel.com, justyna.photoshelter.com