Photographic

Photo exhibition showing the devastation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine opens at the Auckland War Memorial Museum

Ukraine: The cost of freedom. The exhibition organized by the Ukrainian community of Auckland shows the Russian invasion through Ukrainian eyes. Photo / Dmytro Kornilov

A photographic exhibition showing the devastating effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine opens today at the Tamaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Ukraine: The Cost of Freedom was organized by the Ukrainian community as part of the Te Taunga community hub. The extraordinary and at times heartbreaking images, captured by some of Ukraine’s most prominent photographers, highlight the pain and struggle of Ukrainian citizens who have resisted the Russian invasion for six months and were taken along the frontline high risk of 1000 km. risking the lives of the photographers.

Russia's war against Ukraine has been raging for six months.  Photo / Rodrigue Abd
Russia’s war against Ukraine has been raging for six months. Photo / Rodrigue Abd

Many photographs were provided to the exhibition by Ukrainska Pravda, Ukraine’s largest news website, and most of the video content was provided by the Ukrainer media project. On certain days, the community will lead its own activations for the public.

Ukrainian cities, once beautiful and prosperous, have been reduced to ruins.  Photo / Rawla Dowlowa
Ukrainian cities, once beautiful and prosperous, have been reduced to ruins. Photo / Rawla Dowlowa

Since the start of the invasion in February this year, more than 120,000 residential buildings, 2,000 schools and 700 hospitals have been destroyed or severely damaged, as reported by the Kyiv School of Economics on July 13 this year. Thousands of lives have been lost, including more than 350 children, and more than 12 million Ukrainians have fled their homes in search of safety, according to Ukrainian officials and the United Nations in July 2022.

Over 12 million Ukrainians have fled their homes in search of safety.  Photo / Sergii Mykhalchu
Over 12 million Ukrainians have fled their homes in search of safety. Photo / Sergii Mykhalchu

Some photographs showing the ruins of once beautiful and prosperous Ukrainian cities, now reduced to rubble, have also been exhibited internationally in Berlin, Singapore and Dublin.

The Te Taunga Community Center invites members of the diverse communities of Tamaki Makaurau to tell their stories to the people of Auckland, not through the interpretation of the museum, but through the eyes of the community itself.

“We’ve created a space where a particular community can engage in authentic storytelling about their culture and identity,” said Kath McGhie, Manager of Learning and Audience Programs. “It provides a space for communities to share the stories that are important to them.”

• Ukraine: The Cost of Freedom takes place in the Grand Foyer of the Auckland War Memorial Museum between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm from August 24 to October 23, and is free with admission to the museum. The exhibit contains graphic and confrontational content and may not be suitable for children under 15.