An artist in Ukraine captures the conflict in classic black and white : The Image Present : NPR

A bridge in Irpin, Ukraine, in April.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


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Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


A bridge in Irpin, Ukraine, in April.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok

“For the reason that starting of the conflict, my important focus has been to point out this conflict by means of images,” says Vladyslav Krasnoshchok, a medical physician and artist within the Ukrainian metropolis of Kharkiv.

After Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, the nation’s second-largest metropolis, Kharkiv, got here beneath siege for practically three months. The middle of the northeastern metropolis is simply 30 miles from the Russian border. Russian troops rapidly superior on Kharkiv and pounded it for weeks with mortars, heavy artillery and cruise missiles. A whole lot of 1000’s of individuals fled, whereas others took shelter in cellars and the town’s underground metro stations.

Krasnoshchok stayed put whilst others sought security farther west or left the nation. However he did not wish to use underground bomb shelters.

“I by no means used basements or something like that,” he says, “as a result of it is damp down there. It is chilly and darkish. I do not want that.”

Krasnoshchok, who’s 41, describes himself as a “geopolitical surrealist” painter. As soon as the conflict began, he wished to doc the best way the invasion dramatically modified the nation.

Anti-tank obstacles block a avenue in Kharkiv, Ukraine, in March.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


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Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


Anti-tank obstacles block a avenue in Kharkiv, Ukraine, in March.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok

“I solely work with the bodily photographs,” he says about his alternative to make use of an Olympus Pen S 35 mm digicam from the Eighties loaded with black-and-white movie slightly than a contemporary digital digicam. He develops the movie himself and prints his photographs at his dwelling in certainly one of Kharkiv’s residential neighborhoods. “I actually imagine my work differs rather a lot from the digital photographs as a result of it is really in entrance of you,” he says. “That is, like, precise artwork, and that is actually essential for historical past.”

A constructing was destroyed in Kharkiv, Ukraine, in March.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


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Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


A constructing was destroyed in Kharkiv, Ukraine, in March.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok

Through the early a part of the conflict, Krasnoshchok began wandering the empty streets of Kharkiv along with his digicam. It was nonetheless winter. The snow contrasted sharply in opposition to the blackened, bombed-out residence buildings.

“In only a 1 1/2 kilometers [almost 1 mile] radius from my home, there’s numerous destruction right here,” he says. “They have been shelling right here rather a lot.”

He says he discovered the stark, destroyed landscapes visually placing. “They remind me of some form of post-apocalyptic photos of cities like Chernobyl or Detroit,” he says.

A monument to the poet Taras Shevchenko sits in entrance of ruined destroyed buildings within the metropolis Borodyanka, Ukraine, in March.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


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Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


A monument to the poet Taras Shevchenko sits in entrance of ruined destroyed buildings within the metropolis Borodyanka, Ukraine, in March.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok

“Why do black and white? As a result of, with this methodology, I’m totally controlling the entire course of,” he says. “From the second I am taking an image, to utilizing the chemical substances, to truly printing it, to framing it — that is the purest manner of constructing images.”

A tank sits on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, in April.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


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Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


A tank sits on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, in April.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok

Krasnoshchok actually wished to do one thing creatively totally different from the various photographers documenting the conflict. “Everyone shoots with digital now,” he says. “There are such a lot of of them, and I am fairly positive that if we take a look at all of their works, we’ll see the same sample to how they do it. With this bodily methodology, I actually imagine that it is going to permit me to search out my very own perspective.”

The outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, in April.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


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Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


The outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, in April.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok

A canine sits in Vil’khivka, a village on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, in April.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


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Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


A canine sits in Vil’khivka, a village on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, in April.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok

“In my artwork, I am making an attempt to review the composition and the construction of the picture and its affect on the observer,” Krasnoshchok says.

“I keep right here largely so I do not miss something attention-grabbing.”

Refugees shelter in a subway station in Kharkiv, Ukraine, in April.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


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Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


Refugees shelter in a subway station in Kharkiv, Ukraine, in April.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok

Refugees shelter in a subway station in Kharkiv, Ukraine, in April.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


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Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


Refugees shelter in a subway station in Kharkiv, Ukraine, in April.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok

He is despatched a few of his negatives and a few of his work to a good friend’s dwelling in central Ukraine for safekeeping. He posts lots of his photographs on Instagram.

However he grew up in Kharkiv. His home was handed all the way down to him by his father. It isn’t simply that Krasnoshchok would not wish to depart, he needs to be right here in his dwelling metropolis at this second.

Journalists doc the conflict in Tsyrkuny, a village on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, in Might.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


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Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


Journalists doc the conflict in Tsyrkuny, a village on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, in Might.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok

“A conflict, it is a distinctive factor,” Krasnoshchok says. “Typically in a lifetime you’ve it as soon as. Typically you do not have it in any respect.”

As an artist, he needs to soak up it. He says he is not frightened about getting killed or a bomb dropping on his home as a result of that is out of his management.

“I hold 90% of all of my artwork, all my belongings right here as a result of I imagine that if a missile hits right here or one thing occurs right here, I am mentally ready to say goodbye to all of this,” he says, gesturing to his front room, which is roofed in his work. “It is a wood home — if one thing comes right here, it is going to be absolute destruction.”

Shells sit in a pile in Mala Rohan, a village on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, in 2022.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


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Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


Shells sit in a pile in Mala Rohan, a village on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, in 2022.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok

Wreckage in Tsyrkuny, a village on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, in Might.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


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Vladyslav Krasnoshchok


Wreckage in Tsyrkuny, a village on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Ukraine, in Might.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok

Krasnoshchok says he makes his artwork first for himself after which he hopes that by means of his artwork, the viewer finally ends up seeing the world in a different way.

Vladyslav Krasnoshchok sits in entrance of one of many many murals he is painted in his backyard exterior his dwelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

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Vladyslav Krasnoshchok sits in entrance of one of many many murals he is painted in his backyard exterior his dwelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

Jason Beaubien/NPR

Vanessa LeRoy did the photograph edit for this story. Rotislav Peleh contributed to this report.

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