Ukraine: a country on a blood-stained quest for identity.
I spent some weeks in Ukraine in 2015, a year after the Maidan protests. I met people from the most diverse social classes. They are all fighting for their idea of Ukraine. In some ways, these ideas are very far apart.
The conservative patriarch in the influential Russian Orthodox church, the activists from Crimea, the wounded Maidan demonstrator, the male couple, the nationalist independence fighter - they are all pulling in different directions. Will Ukraine become a liberal and western-oriented state? Will the influence of Russia grow? Or will Ukraine achieve full independence?.
For the first time in its history, Ukraine has been independent for one-quarter of a century now - and more disjointed than ever. I watched developments in the country with excitement and some concern. I was preoccupied with the fate of people whom I had met for my reports.
In 2015, I produced a multimedia report about the situation in Ukraine. Newspapers in Switzerland and the Netherlands published my pictures and texts, too.
After the devastating Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, hundreds of thousands of people were resettled from the so-called circle of death – an area with a 30-kilometre radius around the failed reactor – to anonymous big cities in Ukraine. Not all the migrants accepted this willingly: they fought by stealth to return to their former homes, where some of them still live today, surrounded by deserted and dilapidated villages. A photographic visit to the widows of Chernobyl.
More than twenty years after the end of the war, Bosnia and Herzegovina is still a divided country. Former enemy groups seem on the surface to live peacefully together, but the tension is palpable in everyday life. While older generations seek to forgive, young people try to forget. They hope for a future in a land with a tragic past. Portraits from Srebrenica and Sarajevo.
Japan is a country of real contradictions – which are increasingly leading to impossible tension. The struggle between tradition and modernity, eastern and western living, protecting and opening up the country poses great challenges. The economy is crashing, the population dying off. A photo-essayistic approach to an elusive country.Patrick Rohr Kommunikation GmbH
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