Ukrainian high school graduates recently posed for a series of poignant graduation photos, juxtaposing their youth and tentative optimism with the terrible devastation of war in their homeland.
Photographer Stanislav Senyk told Reuters he wanted to document the “very important story” of about 40 students who graduated from Chernihiv in northern Ukraine after witnessing the horrors of the war there.
“I saw the kids that were there and it was like a kind of surrealism,” Senyk said.
“I realized that in that moment I could write a very important story, about school kids who were graduating and who had been through the war, and that’s why their graduation, their prom, their everything was just broken,” he said. “It was very important to capture that memory.”
One of the photos shows a group of students huddled on top of a tank. Another shows a group of girls in a bombed-out building, while others look down from the burned-out floors above.
The students called the experience difficult – but important.
“We wanted to show that we live in such realities,” Olha Babynets, 17, told Reuters. “We wanted to show our pain, which is there and has never let up. It was emotionally difficult, but we tried to persevere. And I think we succeeded.”
In a separate series of photos taken by Abdullah Unver for the Anadolu agency, Ukrainian students are forced to skip their prom in their dance attire in the rubble of their bombed Kharkiv school.
https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/ukraine-school-students-pose-russia-invasion_uk_62b034a1e4b0cf43c8594ab6 Ukrainian School Students Pose For Heartbreaking Graduation Photos In War-Torn Homeland