April 7, 2022
When it all started I decided to stay, I didn’t want to leave. I thought my city Odessa would have to give something back. I use myself as much as I can. I go to the old people’s house and bring the medicine and food I bought with my money. I’m not one of those people who joins a non-profit organization. We have so much to do. I also go to a stove to help bake bread. Then I went out on the street and took pictures of people and faces without preconceived notions.
I have known Anna Golubovskaya since childhood, mine and hers. She is the daughter of Evgeny Golubovsky, a writer and journalist while Odessa, its intellectual and artist, is always at the forefront of celebrating official and unofficial historical events: a living archive of the city. It works with magazines, exhibitions, prizes and calendars, brings together intellectuals and keeps in touch with famous odesites scattered around the world. Among them was Evelina Schatz, my mother, born in Odessa. Ivelina was among those who kept saying until the end that the Russians would not invade Ukraine, they did not see the meaning. When this happened, he was shocked. He spends his days watching the journalism marathon on television. “My first memory was of being rushed to a shelter during the bombing. I never thought that at the end of my life I would see pictures of little girls with backpacks who are forced to go to shelters. “
Anna is very active on Facebook, she also publishes photographs of colleagues and masters of photography, it is a pleasure to follow her. One day, looking at the pictures he started taking after the war started, I saw a possibility: to tell the story of the war to the people of Odessa, Italy, how about the war Howitzer, Crater and not. The corpse, but a city in balance, waiting – there was thunder, now there will be thunder – frightened but dignified and skinny, a little brave and even fatalistic, that allowed itself to be smoothed by life, the feeling of time that lasts on the face and a transparent Like glass, a kind of sarcastic resignation, like contempt. I called her, she moved away. Then I wrote to Dopiozero, and half an hour later they said yes. This is also war: acceleration.
War has united us like never before. We feel one regardless of the language we speak, the nationality and the region of the country in which we find ourselves. We are one in self-defense. Ukraine is our home and the names of Bucha, Irpin, Mariupol and Kherson we are talking about ourselves, not others. And at the same time we feel part of Europe, part of a world civilization where there should be no citizenship of totalitarianism and murder.
Format easy. Each week five photographs are brought out (only in this first episode there are two more, pre-war period), who is our agent at the scene to tell the inner life of the city. Diagonal text, unless otherwise indicated, is always his. This is an open, real-time operation. We will discover the meaning together with the readers. We abuse an artist as if he were a reporter. We don’t know how long it will last. We don’t know if it’s an attack, Admirable instructionThe city would become a fiefdom, which we consider to be one of the ten heroic cities of the Soviet Union to resist the German army during World War II.
We do not know when and how the war will end. We know that our reporter is not a war photographer, he does not reconstruct the truth like a 3D printer, he does not pretend to synthesize the events for the benefit of the successor. It works the artist’s vision, which is as free as a bee where it feels fit to understand the human soul. But if we search for the soul of the people in a city, I would say that we are searching for the ideas that this city has about itself. We shape and project it so that it – the city – can reflect and question itself. People don’t just take portraits. Anna will be a carrier for us on a humanitarian, social and cultural level which is very lively in Odessa but it is not easy to tell those who have never been there. A fuileton, a series of stories. Five pictures a week. We’ll see.
I like being here, it’s comfortable, our pace is comfortable. I like to go out in the morning, drink coffee, listen to people’s jokes. I am very connected to my city. My photos are reposted and clicked, but I don’t care too much. I think black and white express the feeling of drama, that’s right. Why work in movies? Digital cameras are smarter than me, and that makes me stupid. The photos were printed by a friend of mine from Kharkiv, an amazing quality, I’m not sure how he does it.
I call Anna on WhatsApp, she answers me when she is walking down the street. At one stage loud songs can be heard. I want an explanation.
Odessa is empty, no one comes out, worse than when Kovid was. Authorities have organized outdoor music to soothe the spirits and give a glimpse of normal life.
People sway between fear and Hemingway’s sarcastic pride. Grace in stress. Many view a normal life as a form of resistance or survival. First, stay calm. We’ll see. But Odessa is full of strange characters, overflowing with stories and very connected to the cultural heritage of the city. Port cities almost always have a certain amount of humor. Stay calm and continue, again, in the middle of a war that just went into hibernation.
Photography has many facets, some familiar, others less. Ability to tell the past and document the present. Its power To explain Provides the world and its open version, much more than words, which seems rather to me Construction World. One day I found a power of photography that I did not doubt existed: prophecy. I was writing an article on post-war photography for the history of Italy 1945-2000 Einaudi, a volume edited by Uliano Lucas, and I saw a picture of Ugo Mulas from 1968 that we decided to publish. Workers and technicians are seen inside a food product factory.
The environment is sterile, safe, well-lit, everything seems well thought out and adequate. Everyone knows what he has to do and his place, his mission. Everyone is fully aware of their own nature as gear assimilated with higher mosaics. It was a perfect prediction of how the factory would become a world example. Everything will become a factory, and it has been. Highways, agriculture, Retirement, Love, health, cultural art সেই that photo struck me for my ability to tell how things would turn out. Since then I have enjoyed finding the meaning of prophecy in photographs. Black swan track down.
There is a picture of Anna that captured me from the first moment I saw her: a lone dog, Emanuel Armand Emmanuel de Vignert du Plessis, near the city’s most famous bronze monument, dedicated to the Duke of Richelieu, Governor of Odessa from 1803 to 1814. , Which shaped the city as a port center. He wears an ancient Roman toga and is affectionately called Duke. It is located at the top of the Potjamkin Stairs, which has become immortal in Eisenstein’s famous film. It is curious that Anna, so opposed, has photographed the tourist symbol of Odessa several times. In 2013 the dog was white. The owner is not too far away, and by chance he did not finish the frame. The scene is shrouded in fog. The dog is calm, wise, questioning.
I use fog to get rid of that annoying fake image sense for tourists. The Duke has seen a lot. During the Crimean War, a Turkish ship’s squad fired artillery, which suddenly picked up the anchor for no apparent reason. A cannonball was stuck in front of Vorontzovsky’s palace. And then Patzamkin is shooting Cossack at the crowd on the stairs. But he, the Duke, is always there.
Then, four years later, in 2017, Anna repeated the shot. The scene became horrible. The dog is a black mars without a guru, he stays on the street and the street cleaner passes him and eats that rubbish. He is deaf. The white dog has turned black. Like the white dog, it is waiting, but the danger of waiting for it, makes us restless. This is Anubis, the black-headed Egyptian dog god who leads the afterlife and must be held accountable when weighing hearts from the dead. If you see Anubis in the vicinity, what they say is not a good sign. Thinks of dogs on the street without a master At the end of the day, Herds of animals with rage that bite and occupy urban space. I don’t know where it came from but many times I have used the term “there will be dogs on the streets” thinking about World War III.
Will it arise from the wolf terror of wolves? Is the image of the statue with the black dog a prophecy of war? When the fight started, Anna took another picture with the Duke, covered in a sand bag in the middle, this time without the dog. The fog gave way to the snow. The Duke seems to be wearing a gala dress with a train. I am reminded of Mao Zedong’s words “Revolution is not a gala dinner”, a waste of years of protest in ’76. They used respect to the Duke of Richelieu by keeping his head uncovered, which became too small. Even in battle he must be seen and greeted by the sea, at least with his eyes. Then the real fog, the real. The prophecy has come true, and the unspoken has run. Odessa like New York 1997: Escape from New York? Becomes Duke Chief, The leader of a gang who travels on a Cadillac and places two huge and impossible chandeliers on the hood. The glass pendant emits the sound of an ominous music box.
This attack looks like a surreal scene. It is not easy for us to believe.
I’ll send you pictures tomorrow morning. The siren sounded again. I also turned off the lights and the computer for fear of increasing the power.
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