Catriona Gray: Ukrainian Revolution Photography Project

A participant on our current New Creative Markets programme, Catriona Gray, has been doing a photography project around the Ukrainian Revolution. Catriona lived in Kyiv for 2 years and has been tweeting one image a day since the beginning of February to commemorate the anniversary of the unfinished revolution.

Catriona’s opening image for this project is shown below…

© Catriona Gray

It was accompanied by the caption:

On the night of February 21st/22nd President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kyiv. After mounting civil discontent, culminating in armed clashes with the police on 20th February when over 100 people were killed the people sent a strong message that they wanted Yanukovych out. So he ran away.

What he left was a power vacuum and a city temporarily ruled by the people.

They had won. They had reclaimed the capital as their own. The people owned the streets. They had just won a revolution fought with sticks and stones against armed riot police and snipers and they lost many people in the fight.

The sound of chopping wood is all around and the smoke piping from the top of every tent fills your hair and clothes. Soup bubbles and girls giggle as they chop lemon for the tea. The barricades that had sprung up over the preceding weeks and months were made from the very city itself: benches; advertising hoardings; cobblestones and fences. Parliament is now guarded by a people’s defence group, City Hall is the Revolutionary Headquarters – a bed for the night in the council chamber, free soup and salad in the makeshift canteen in the foyer. The atmosphere is communal and positive and people are willing to stay put for another 3 months or more to ensure they get a leadership that represents them.

The next day Russia invaded Ukrainian territory.

“Only a man with unbelievable spiritual strength can fight a machine gun with a stick for his country.”

“Putin underestimates us. He forgets that after the war the west of Ukraine fought for their independence against the Soviets for 15 years and didn’t lie down.”

 


 

To look back through the images in this project follow Catriona on twitter @cms_gray and visit her blog: cgrayphotography.tumblr.com/