Our Sincere Toils

Photographer Tommy Sussex captures Ukraine as it crescendos towards civil war

TOMMY SUSSEX OUR SINCERE TOILS (1)
A young Ukrainian over looks Maidan Square and the funeral processions that celebrated the heroes lost during the Maidan protests. Maidan, Kiev, Ukraine. Saturday 22nd February. Photography by Tommy Sussex

Ukraine certainly won’t be topping the lists of top tourist destinations any time soon. The country is currently facing the potential of civil war, with their President Viktor Yanukovich fleeing the state in February after riots between loyalists and anti-government separatists escalated to an unprecedented level – leaving scores dead and the state’s future critically poised.

For Bristol-based photographer Tommy Sussex though, Europe’s latest battleground has been the destination of recurring trips. “In early November 2013 I visited northern Poland and traveled down through the country into western Ukraine. It was apparent when crossing the border that the situation was vastly different in these neighbouring countries,” he told Dazed. “I spent time with a Ukrainian couple of a similar age to myself, and began to understand the problems and restrictions they faced. I witnessed Ukraine’s response to the EU trade deal U-turn that had enormous economic and political implications. This experience affected the way I viewed my life in the U.K. and started an obsession with the constant developments in Ukraine and those fighting for change.”

In his latest visit, documented here, Tommy traveled to Ukraine’s captial Kiev, and Maiden Square – the scene of the bloodiest and deadliest protests. On February 21– the day after over 50 protestors had been shot and killed by Yanukovich’s government forces – Tommy was in ‘Independence’ Square to capture the mood. “There was a sombre and reflective feeling in the air. The opposition protesters, some of which had been resisting police forces for over three months looked physically and mentally beaten. These events changed history”.

The full project will be released in a self-published book in May. More details can be found here.

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