Yelena Yemchuk’s Odesa: A floating dreamland

Following the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014, Yelena Yemchuk spent five years travelling to the southern Ukraine city of Odesa to document young people volunteering to join the army. Underpinned by a sense of curiosity and wonder, Yemchuk’s upcoming photobook is a reminder of the love and lives of the young Ukrainian people now faced with war

14 April 2022
In the last decade, the Ukrainian art and photography scene has been growing and developing.

The Euromaidan revolution in 2014 triggered and incentivised artists to reclaim their Ukrainian cultural heritage, distinguishing themselves from the Russian attributes that have persisted for many years.  With the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, understanding the country’s cultural nuances is more important than ever.


In this collection you will find the work of Ukrainian artists documenting youth culture, society, personal stories and politics. Since Ukraine gained independence from the USSR in 1991, the celebration of tradition and identity, old and new, has flourished. There are event highlights, such as Bird in Flight festival, Kyiv Photo Book Festival and Odesa Photo Days. And, features on some of Ukraine’s most well-known photographers, including Boris Mikhailov, Yelena Yemchuk and Maxim Dondyuk.

 Indeed, there are also projects shot by the likes of Christopher Nunn, Mark Neville Wiktoria Wojciechowska and David Denil, who became enamoured with Ukraine, its people and its story.


Since the beginning of 2022, many Ukrainian documentary and fine art photographers have also become photojournalists overnight, choosing to remain in their war-torn country to document the horrors taking place in their home. BJP’s April 2022 issue contains a number of interviews which unpack this very topic in a special section about Ukraine. It also highlights the plight of the Ukrainian people to remain a sovereign nation, against all odds.