Ukrainian front photography at Okapi Gallery / 2022

Starting on Wednesday, March 9 at 17.00, the Okapi Gallery in the old town of Tallinn presents a photo exhibition documenting the Ukrainian war as well as video reviews from the local photo field of previous years. The impetus for the exhibition is the close cooperation between the gallery in the Eastern European region and the appeal of the Ukrainian photographic community to foreign colleagues for support.

Early morning on February 24 Russia began the full-scale military invasion of Ukraine. They call it a “special demilitarization operation”, but in fact, it’s a real war in the middle of Europe. Russian troops launched missile strikes against peaceful Ukrainian cities from various directions, including the temporarily occupied Donbas and Crimea, and the northeastern region. They target both military objects and peaceful homes, orphanages, and kindergartens. The nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhya, the biggest in Europe, was under Russian attack.
“Ukrainian photographers bravely doing their job in the Ukrainian cities during the war. Now they are not only professional journalists and photographers — they are citizens who capture their beloved places ruined by Russian troops and bombs as well as people standing fearlessly for their land, homes, and families. What’s more — Ukrainians are fighting now for peace in the whole of Europe,” says Kateryna Radchenko, director and curator of the International Festival of Contemporary Photography Odesa Photo Days, who is actively seeking opportunities to reflect the local situation in the international cultural arena. “Photography is a powerful tool and media, to tell the truth about what is going on in the center of Europe now.”
The photographs show crushed municipal and civil buildings, vehicles, and bridges; soldiers and ordinary citizens with all kinds of weapons and Molotov cocktails; carrying the deceased ones and rescuing domestic animals; rolling suitcases on ruined streets, fire, and smoke in snowy trenches. The authors of the photos are the local street photography flagships Michael Palinchak, Yuriy Yurchenko, Sergiy Illyashenko, Volodymyr Petrov (all Kyiv), Pavlo Dorohoi (Kharkiv), and Slava Ratynski (Zhytomyr). In addition to the photos, video reviews of the Odesa Photo Days 2020 festival and Ukrainian female artists are on display.

Besides the Ukrainian authors, the exhibition also features fresh shots from the front line by their Estonian counterpart Dmitry Kotjuh. Järva Teataja photographer Kotjuh was recognized in 2015 as an author of the best Estonian press photo by the Estonian Newspaper Association, and last year he was awarded the 5th Class Order of the White Star – an Estonian State Decoration. At the moment Kotjuh is working in the ranks of the publication of Postimees media.

The exhibition and its organization offer, in particular, moral support to the Ukrainian photographic community, which is also asking to help the Ukrainian army, humanitarian missions, or refugees.
One opportunity is to support a charity foundation
“The Depths of Arts” (DOFA FUND)
via MTÜ Okapi EE891700017003578645,

the keyword "for Ukraine".

Ukrainian partners: festival "Odessa Photo Days", Ukrainian photography community "Untitled".

Okapi Gallery thanks Craftrag print studio for its fast reaction and for supporting the exhibition.

The exhibition will remain open at Okapi Gallery until April 30, 2022,
and can be visited
Mon-Fri 11:00 - 18:00,
Sat 11:00-16:00 at
Niguliste 2, Tallinn.