Kyiv, Ukraine - Photography

Varenyki Dreams is a visual dialogue between my vision of Ukraine and the scarring emotions of the full-scale terrorist invasion Ruzzia launched on Ukraine on February 24th of 2022.

The series abandons the bellic-centered imagery that dominates current visual discussions about Ukraine. Varenyki Dreams reviews the pain, emotions and aftermath of war through a contemporary visual language that speaks about Ukrainian Identity, my family, the country’s history and its’ people.

I retrace my own identity and travel back to my family’s origins to reconnect with the land, people and the notion of home. This journey has become directly inverse to the displacement that over 6,000,000 Ukrainians have had to face when fleeing their homes due to the invasion. I explore the mirroring duality of our opposite journeys by treating my photographs as inverse images of the same frame, creating a window for the viewer to travel through the same physical spaces during different times.

Psychedelic yet factual frames juxtapose the charisma and power of Ukrainian people against the dramatic experiences lived throughout this war.

Varenyki Dreams is a dystopian visual world, where the subjects depicted lived regular lives when the images where taken, but currently find themselves hiding from shelling, holding rifles, driving military trucks, and helping evacuate people on a daily basis. Homes have turned into an anxiety-inducing hell. Daily sirens have become a normalized reality to the point where 3 year old children calmly seek refuge when they hear them while techno-raves are organized to rebuild the endless destruction caused by Ruzzia.

©2024 Dmytro Levdanski 
All rights reserved.                 
Ruzzia is a Terrorist State. ︎