Hi! My name is Maxim Dondyuk. I'm a documentary photographer from Ukraine. I’d like to talk to you about my first photo book called ‘Culture of Confrontation’.
The book ‘Culture of Confrontation’ is about the revolution in Ukraine 2013-2014, known as the Revolution of Dignity or Euromaidan. It started as a completely peaceful demonstration on Kiev’s Independence Square (in Ukrainian 'Maidan Nezalezhnosti') against the decision of the former President of Ukraine to suspend an integration deal with the European Union.
When I came to Maidan for the fist time on December 1, 2013, I was sure that everything would be over by the next morning. But it didn’t. Peaceful demonstration turned into three months of bloody clashes, tears, fear, Molotov cocktails, burning car tires and deaths.
This revolution changed not only myself, but also my photography and visual language. On the Maidan, at some point, the emotions for me took on an almost abstract, or universal character. The battles on the streets appeared almost unreal, as though occurring in some medieval tale or legend. So visually my photos broke away from the specific context that this was all happening in Ukraine, in my hometown. What I tried to capture was the more abstract, universal conflict that was playing out, between light and shadow, between the thick black smoke and whiteness of the February snow, and in some sense between good and evil, though it was often impossible to tell which side was which.
From the beginning the revolution felt like a performance, with scenes of carnage interweaving with incredible beauty. In that sense I think I did manage to remain objective, to remain impartial, while still feeling and expressing all the powerful emotions that were playing out. Through my photos I tried to show the scale of all that was happening, and in the process the line between reality and fiction sometimes became blurred. I would forget the place, time and the cause of what was happening, and felt myself transported to some phantasmagoric place that resembled the awful battles of past wars. In that sense, what happened on the Maidan became a symbol to me of opposites colliding, and in the process, the details of the city I knew so well, of carefree Kyiv, melted away.
This book is the result of a three years’ work. Together with a designer from Germany, Yevgeny Anfavov, and writer Simon Shuster, a good friend of mine, who covered the Ukrainian revolution for the TIME Magazine, we did our best to create not an ordinary book with a set of pictures, but to immerse you in the events of 2013-2014. The goal of the book is to remind, to explain, to make people think.
The book ‘Culture of Confrontation’ consists of photos, artifacts, texts sharing the problematic discussions, essays and thought of both my and Simon Shuster. It is also supplemented with a map and an events timeline to which are linked all the toponyms in the book. Together with a designer we payed special attention to paper and cover. Via tactual sensation we want you to feel the spirit of the Maidan.
In my project I had my own position as a human who supported protesters, but in my photography project as well as in this book I decided not to accent attention on it. I tried to created such photos and situations where viewers would be not obliged to choose good or bad side. I tried to show and tell only the confrontation of two different world views.
- Design: by Yevgeniy Anfalov
- Format: 182 x 240 mm portrait format
- 285 pages
- Supplemented by a map and an events timeline
- Language: English
- Publication date: depending on the success of this company it can be 2019.
Guys, this is our second time with this project on Kickstarter, unfortunately, the first one wasn’t successful. But we didn’t give up, and hope that you are with us and will support us! Since our first Kickstarter we finished the work on the design of the book, coved designer’s work and production of dummies out of our own pockets. Now we need your help. Publishing a book isn’t a cheap thing and without you, friends, we won’t be able to publish and present this book to the world. This is our last chance to make the book ‘Culture of Confrontation’ come true!
Friends, most in the world we want to publish this book and to present it to the world. That’s why we set up a minimum sum needed to produce this book.
- If we raise $13,000 we will print the book as self publish.
- But if we receive more of your support, at least $28,000, we will print the book with a publisher.
We’ve already talked with publishers and received a confirmation from one of them that they are ready to print the book and to present it on the festivals worldwide.
This is how much we want the book to come the reality. We rely on you, guys! LET’S DO IT!
Photos from the project ‘Culture of Confrontation’ were exhibited in solo and group exhibitions around the world: Musée d’Art Moderne (Paris), Somerset House (London), MAXXI, National Museum of XXI Century Arts (Rome), CAB Art Center (Brussels), International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum (Geneva), Voices Off Festival (Arles), Visa pour l’Image (Perpignan), Checkpoint Charlie Museum (Berlin), during the Biennale of Photography “Fotográfica Bogota”(Colombia), and others.
- Finalist of the Prix Pictet Photography Prize, Disorder
- International Photographer of the Year in Lucie Awards (IPA)
- Winner of the Ville de Perpignan Remi Ochlik Award
- Winner of the Prix Photo La Quatrieme Image
- LensCulture Exposure Awards
- Kolga Tbilisi Photo Award, winner in documentary category
- Winner of the PDN Photo Annual 2015 in documentary category, etc.
Photos from the project have been published in GUP, Rolling Stone, TIME, Newsweek, Der Spiegel, STERN, Paris Match, Russian Reporter, Le Monde, 6Mois, PDN, Bloomberg Businessweek, Polka and others magazines.
- The British Journal of Photography: Interview
- GUP Magazine: Publication and Publication
- LensCulture: Interview
- Der Spiegel: Publication
- Bird in Flight: Interview
- PHOTOGRVPHY magazine: Interview
- Are We Europe: Interview
- Preset Shop: Interview
- OLD magazine: Interview
- 6MOIS: Publication
- Bloomberg Businessweek magazine: Publication
- Adele Humbert’s Blog: Interview
- Midia NINJA: Interview
- Life Framer: Interview
- MOLOGUE: Interview
REWARDS. FINE ART PRINTS
First of all, our heartfelt thanks go to all our backers and supporters.
The following information is for pledges that include a fine art print:
- Kickstarter edition – 50×70 cm fine art print
- image of your choice (please, contact us directly at email@example.com for the full list of available prints);
- Impression Fine Art Papier Baryté, C-print;
- accompanied by a certificate of authenticity;
- edition of 28 copies + 2AP (artist copies), all sizes included;
- printed by Central DUPON Images printing house in Paris;
- only for people who support this project on Kickstarter;
- Fine Art prints will be delivered to you earlier than the books, due to faster production.
REWARDS. SMALL PRINTS
- All small size prints come in the edition of 200 copies.
- Size 24x16 cm
- Each print is numbered and signed by the author.
FOR DELIVERIES IN UKRAINE WE ARE USING NOVA POSHTA. DELIVERY COSTS MUST BE PAYED BY THE CUSTOMER ACCORDING TO NOVA POSHTA RULES.
HOW CAN YOU HELP
BACK THE PROJECT. Check out our rewards and pledge whatever you can. Any large or small contribution brings us one step closer to reaching our goal and giving a voice to these stories.
SPREAD THE WORD! Please share our Kickstarter page on Twitter and Facebook and tell your friends and family about the project. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram. We are sincerely grateful for your support.
BONUS. Also to make you feel the atmosphere and spirit of the revolution more better, here is a short video which we made together with José Bautista / Kanseisounds is a Visual Musician and Sound Designer.
If you use a laptop for viewing, we recommend you to use headphones or external speakers.
Risks and challenges
The project entails virtually no risks. The design of the photo book has already been created by a designer and financed by me. There only might be small changes during finalization with the publisher. If this campaign is a success the photo book is planned to be published in 2019. For the art prints, I’m returning to long-standing partners with whom I have already worked for many years. The shipping and handling of rewards will be carried out by me and my team and comes with a 100% on-time guarantee.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!