Haunting photos capture the remnants of everyday life in Ukraine
Six months after Russia has invaded Ukraine, and on the 31st Independence Day of Ukraine commemorating their departure from the Soviet Union in 1991, we look at the result of the war and what remains...
Eerie paintings in shades of burnt sienna. Remnants of everyday life, frozen in a macabre stillness at the precise moment time stopped when Russian bombs rained down on residential dwellings in the liberated towns of Irpin and Borodianka. Exquisite light kisses the scorched palette. Baby cribs and wheelchairs. Charred cameras that once held tender family photos. A coffee cup sits on a table near a recliner, singed and flaking. A kitchen table holds food left uneaten. What were they cooking that last day of normal?
Lives led, now put on hold. Or extinguished. Precious mementoes reduced to dust. Twisted metal, empty chairs, melted microwaves. Too painful to ponder what the power of these weapons of destruction does to human flesh at the point of impact.
Civilian things. Not the stuff of combatants. Humanity's hopes, dreams, loves — in war, they are merely "collateral damage."
A popular cat café, once the scene of camaraderie and conversations over cappuccinos, lies in ruins. Broken glass becomes a metaphor for shattered lives. Survivors, saved from the bombardment by a fickle destiny of circumstance, visit in bittersweet homecomings to pick through pieces of their former reality.
Others will never return. Their life's breath now a faded memory among cherished keepsakes scattered in living rooms of ash.
Carol Guzy is a 4-time Pulitzer Prize winning photographer for her work in Haiti, Kosovo and Colombia. She worked as a staff photographer at the Miami Herald from 1980 - 1988 and at The Washington Post from 1988 - 2014. She is currently a contract photographer for Zuma Press. Follow Carol on Instagram.
NPR Visuals Producer Grace Widyatmadja photo edited this story.
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