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“People live here” is what some inhabitants of the villages along the contact line of eastern Ukraine started writing on their gates in mid-April 2014, when hostilities began. These few words were a warning for the military to avoid shelling, or occupying their homes. Five years later, these inscriptions still hold true. Amid continuous fighting that has often deprived those affected of the main source of life - water - people live here, still.
17 - 30 of April 2019, five years since the war in eastern Ukraine began, the Golden Gate Museum will host a photo project by Spanish photographer, Albert Lores. “The first time I went to Donbas was in summer 2014, during the first months of the war. Five years later the situation has changed very little for common people living by the contact line. The writings on the doors, “people live here”, are a reminder that for some, war is not only something you see in the news, but everyday life”, – Albert Lores.
Pictures will lead visitors through one of the major concerns for those who have remained: limited access to water. Over four million people in the area are at risk every day of being cut off from the water supply. The infrastructure in the region is obsolete, and is regularly damaged by shelling. Re-using water or ‘thaw’ water, collecting it from old wells, carrying it home when trucked from long distances: this is what many in Donbas go through, every day. In parallel, workers in the water companies risk their lives to make sure that people maintain access to this precious good, repairing and operating facilities amid fighting. As one of those “water heroes” put it in an interview screened at the exhibition, they do it because water is everything, “water is life”. Nine workers of the water company Voda Donbasa were injured in 2018.
Short videos filmed by residents themselves will also be screened. They show the reality of everyday life on the contact line through the eyes of those who live there.
An exhibition opening event will take place on April 17 at 4:30pm, in presence of the author of the photo project, Albert Lores, Ambassador Hugues Mingarelli, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine, representatives of the humanitarian community and residents of the area. The EU, through its humanitarian aid department (ECHO), has been supporting this project and is supporting water access in Ukraine with extensive humanitarian interventions.
The project is organized by a group of NGOs that support access to water in eastern Ukraine (People in Need, Première Urgence Internationale, ArcheNova, ADRA Ukraine, Polish Humanitarian Action, and Mama-86), with the support of the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations Department (ECHO). By joining forces and displaying this photographic and video work in Golden Gate, they aim at raising awareness about this issue among all people of Ukraine, as well as decision makers.
To register for the opening of the exhibition, please fill in the following form: http://qoo.by/5bvm.
Feel free to join the Facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/310777036284630.
Advocacy and Communications Coordinator, People in Need (PIN) Ukraine
+380506460390 | firstname.lastname@example.org