‘Light of Azovstal’: by Dmytro Kozatsky & Azov Battaloin 9th – 29th Nov 2023

Azovstal Light

A FREE exhibition of Soldier’s photographs from the conflict in Ukraine that spotlighted the persistence and courage of the Ukrainian people.

On the May 20th, 2022, Dmytro Kozatsky, a Ukrainian fighter of the Azov Battalion of the National Guard of Ukraine, uploaded the photographs from his mobile phone onto the internet. The photographs were of the Azovstal steelworks plant, in Mariupol, where Kozatsky and his battalion had fought to defend for months.

There was a message with the photographs:

Well, that’s all. Thank you for shelter Azovstal – the place of my death and my life. By the way, while I am in captivity, I will leave you photos in the best quality, send them to all journalistic awards and photo contests, if I win something, it will be very nice after the release. Thank you all for your support. See you.

Kozatsky was subsequently captured by Russian forces, unaware if anyone would see his message. While Kozatsky became a prisoner of war, his photographs were shared by the vice speaker of the Ukrainian parliament and sent to all the governments of Europe

The reaction was immediate, with Kozatsky being dubbed The eyes of Azovstal. News agencies around the world, including the New York Times, Washington Post and the Guardian shared one image in particular; The Light Will Win, a striking portrait of a fellow soldier standing in a beam of sunlight in the destruction of the Azovstal steelworks plant.

Only when Kozatsky was released from his captivity after a prisoner exchange, did he discover that he had been awarded a special honor at Grand Press Foundation Gala 2022, the gold prize for press and war at the Prix de la Photographie, Paris and the Medal For Military Service to Ukraine

In Spring 2023, a year after Dmytro Kozatsky uploaded his photographs to the world, Alona Strelnikova, a Ukrainian in Tralee, Co Kerry shared his photographs, along with those of another photographer, Alexander Kharvat with Siamsa Tíre, for not only the Ukrainian community in Co Kerry, but so people can see the real face of war.

Light of Azovstal survive About this exhibition Alexander Kharvat says;

These are true testimonies of what was there. This is, in fact, a document for the world to know and understand the seriousness of the war in Ukraine…The more and louder the truth will sound, the sooner the boys and girls will return from captivity.

Exhibition Dates:

9th – 29th Nov 2023. Admission was free.

Curated by Alona Strelnikova and Olivia Howe.

Suitability: 12yrs+. Viewer discretion advised

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