Almost two hundred thousands soldiers were in the ATO zone for four years of war in Ukraine. Ukrainian society experienced six waves of mobilization at the way to create a professional army. The army has become battle-worthy and modern, also we can be proud of our soldiers and fully respect them. However, there are several problems confronting returning soldiers to peaceful life which is considered by the government at the last turn: their reintegration remained beyond the pale of attempting reforms. Each social institution is able to work in a slipshod manner and shift problems onto mentioned warriors.
Ex-soldiers run from one to another institution, trying to knocking out the rights guaranteed by the state to get the privilege. But demobilized ones still divide the surrounding world into their own and others’, they didn’t restore the “civil” flexibility of the worldview and got used to the bureaucratic realities. They find it difficult to contact with government authorities and other institutions. Therefore, they often face problems during employment. Military personnel feels like strangers in a peaceful life. In the daily news “from there” which are deemed to be “dry” for us lies the fate of their fellows and friends. They can’t see the streets of the city like us, it’s hard for them because the people that surround them scurry around in the crowd, immersed in daily personal problems. With the onset of 2015, the society stuck in anticipation and apathy came. A year later, events at the forefront worried just a small number of people. The rest of them simply ignored the fact of the war in our country. They try to live as if war does not exist. The camouflage causes a negative: as conscience, the clothes that are green splashed reminds them a war and painfully tears pink glasses.
This photo series - is an attempt to convey the loneliness of the soldiers who had returned from the frontline: first of all, volunteers who have being closed the gaps at the forefront, corrected the failures of the leadership, didn’t allow to hand over cities, and now they left face to face with their problems. Pictures convey a subjective vision of the reintegration of the warriors, as well as my interpretation of the social reaction. As a person who has gone through the same path of return, I wanted people from outside to look at these problems and themselves «Camouflage» — it’s an insiders’ project. As a volunteer, since the beginning of the war, I have monitored the transformation of society’s attitude towards people in camouflage. In 2014, they were warmly greeted, they shook hands, poured with money at their pockets. The audience cordially said goodbye to the volunteers leaving for the forefront and greedily caught every message from the ATO zone. This project is for those who are “lonely warrior”, is the dedication to all volunteers who are engaged in returning soldiers to peaceful life. It’s a slow, laborious, ungrateful and inconspicuous work - you wouldn’t become popular and loved by the audience, you wouldn’t get thousands of likes, but this way of support - that is all that need soldiers at this time, especially when retrieval from the forefront.
“Camouflage” - is the speechless question: why did people change? Times when the pictures were supposed to provoke pure emotions gone a long time ago. Now I stopped doing dirt a while ago, it’s out of fashion. The market requires a deeper understanding of the given topic. Modern society has thrown out of life all complex questions and “sharp corners”. Nowadays the slightest way out of the quiet life causes people a storm of emotions. I tried to use the maximum of artistic techniques to achieve a sense of inconvenience at the viewer: the overburdened horizons, improper framing, different lenses, “cropped” people. I tried not to use direct oppositions and even contrasts because I don’t want to be so pragmatic and banal. Also, I mixed new and out of order slide, a “soap” and new tape. I even use Leica M3 from the 50s and the latest version of Phantom drone. Only critics can judge me during my attempt to achieve the main aesthetic goals. I wanted to cause people to think about the questions which were illustrated the project.