On 28 September, the awards ceremony for the Leica Oskar Barnack Award will take place as part of the European Month of Photography in Berlin. For the first time, Leica will present all winning and shortlisted series in a major exhibition, displayed at the Neue Schule für Fotografie (New School for Photography) in Berlin for the duration of the festival from 29 September to 23 October 2016.
Until the winners of the main and newcomer award have been revealed, we will take a look at the twelve submissions that have made it onto the shortlist – presenting one series each day. Today: Ukraine: Maidan to Donbass by Guillaume Herbaut.
Ukraine has suffered from political unease since its independence in 1991. At the end of 2013, things came to a head: the Maidan up-rising, the Crimean crisis and the war over the Donbass. Guillaume Herbaut (born in Paris in 1970) has travelled to Ukraine a dozen times since 2014, portraying a country torn apart, with pictures that go far beyond a simple review of the situation. Guillaume Herbaut’s series documenting Ukraine is free of cynicism, but reveals a refined sense for the absurd and for tragicomic moments. The photographer presents the stage where the conflict is taking place, the props that condense the scope of the drama into a picture, and the leading and supporting actors who are in the spotlight – though not for the audience’s sake, but because of their own convictions.