‘The Calm Before the Storm’: Unsettling Photos of Ukrainian Protestors Lying in Wait

The world has been riveted by the protests taking place in Kiev, Ukraine since late last year, a deep political unrest that seems to be getting much worse. While for months this movement was front-page news, coverage has lessened after the media seemingly reached a saturation point — though the situation remains dire. In the absence of continued reporting, it is evocative photography that may help us better understand the emotional toll the situation is still taking on Ukrainian citizens. Photographer Marco Kesseler documents the movement in his series This Land of Ours That Is Not Ours, which we spotted on It’s Nice That.

In this series, the title of which comes from a line by Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko, Kesseler captures the fear and unease of a nation lying in wait. Citizens gather in abandoned buildings with collections of bottled water. A tired-looking young protestor takes a moment’s reprieve from the confines of his motorcycle helmet, standing behind a barrier of metal shields. Battered Ukrainian flags serve as both uniforms and blankets. As Kesseler writes, “These quieter moments, observed in the calm before the storm, reflect the growing uncertainty of a nation in flux as days and months pass.”

Image Credit: Marco Kesseler
Image Credit: Marco Kesseler