*Photo exhibition by Ukrainian photographer and journalist Natalia Liubchenkova
Le Senghor, Chausee de Wavre 366, 1040 Etterbeek
This exhibition is the first Belgian showing of the work of a Ukrainian photographer and journalist Natalia Liubchenkova, who has captured the dramatic and inspiring transformation of courageous Ukrainians affected by the war in their country.
Three years of war have left more than two million Ukrainians displaced from their homes. Three years of shelling and violence have taken the lives of over ten thousand people – more than half of them civilians.
In 2017 Ukraine is beyond the headlines: the war in Donbas, Eastern Ukraine, has been described as “sporadic low-scale fighting that intensifies at times”. The torture, disappearances, human loss, the suffering of over two hundred thousand severely traumatised children in need of special protection, are all invisible among the other heart-breaking tragedies in the world.
Natalia wants to tell us the dramatic story of Donbas in her own way. She travelled to Eastern Ukraine to uncover the stories of the incredible people, who believe that when war takes everything away, it is time to help, inspire and act! They perform surgeries in the candle-lit basements of hospitals. They bake bread for those, who cannot afford it. They start eco farms and green tourism to develop the region. They are trying to be reborn and to find their new selves. These wonderful people are showing us their unique struggle for freedom and independence, for their families and for their dignity.
DONBAS: BEYOND THE HEADLINES features 50 photographs and a video of short personal stories as Natalia offers us a fascinating window into the changing everyday lives of people, who believe that peace and freedom can only be achieved through our own actions, dedication and love.
The exhibition has been organised by two Belgian charities: the Society of Ukrainians in Belgium and UAct with the support of Colette Njomgang-Fonkeu, Alderman for Culture, and board member of Mayors and Aldermen of Etterbeek.
Natalia Liubchenkova is a Ukrainian-born journalist and photographer. She holds a master’s degree in data analytics from the Taras Schevchenko National University in Ukraine. Natalia is also a photojournalism graduate from The New York Institute of Photography. She has been working as a TV journalist and editor since 2008 and is now based in Lyon, France, where she covers international news. She often returns to Ukraine to report on the war in her home country.
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