Foto faces from the frontlines

May 20, 2022 BY

Meaningful: Portraits like The Separatist are accompanied by reflections from the subjects. Photo: SUPPLIED

MITCHELL Harris Wines’ latest upstairs photographic exhibition shares some of the human faces impacted by years of war in Ukraine.

The 20 portraits showcased were taken by Samuel Eder and Diana Chipak in 2019 and 2020, as part of a project to capture the experiences of those living by, and on, the frontlines of armed conflict in the Donbas region.

Eder, an award-winning photojournalist, and paramedicine student at Australian Catholic University, said the title of the show is a thoughtful nod to the Ukrainian military’s motto.

Named Слава Україні, or Slava Ukraini, it means “glory to Ukraine” and “long live Ukraine.”

A fundraiser for aid groups in the Ukrainian war zone, the exhibition includes written reflections from people within the portraits, and is presented by the Ballarat International Foto Biennale.

Eder’s collaborator on the original Face of Donbas project, Chipak, is an economics, entrepreneurship, and sustainability student in the United States, but is from Ukraine’s west.

Throughout their work together, she aimed to “return a voice” to the country’s suffering people who had never been heard before, and she hopes to help her homeland rebuild in the future.

Photographs by Eder have been featured by Australian news outlets, National Geographic NL, and Radio Free Europe.

Slava Ukraini will be exhibited Wednesday to Sunday, until Sunday, 28 May at 38 Doveton Street North, Ballarat.