Maxim Dondyuk

(b. 1983) is a Ukrainian visual artist working in the field of documentary photography. His practice integrates multiple mediums including photography, video, text, and archival material. Maxim’s works explore issues relating to history, memory, conflict, and their consequences.

Selected past projects include ‘TB epidemic in Ukraine’, a two-year work which investigated the problem of tuberculosis in Ukraine; ‘Crimea Sich’, is both a series of photographs and a documentary, which tell about a military upbringing of children in the secret camp in the Crimea Mountains and its pitfalls; ‘Between Life and Death’, is a personal reflection on the aftermath of wars through the ruins and devastated landscapes, previously been battlefields; ‘Culture of Confrontation’, which in 2019 resulted in the book of the same name, and became a turning point in author’s artistic work. In his project ‘Untitled Project from Chernobyl’ Maxim works with vernacular and found photographs in the restricted areas, combining them with landscape photographs of the territories that were burned by nuclear energy.

Maxim has been widely awarded numerous recognitions including International Photographer of the Year in Lucie Awards, finalist of the Prix Pictet Photography Prize, Magnum Photos competition ‘30 under 30’ for emerging documentary photographers, finalist of the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography. His work has been exhibited internationally, at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, Somerset House in London, MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum in Geneva, the Biennale of Photography in Bogota in Colombia, among others. He also was awarded an artist residency Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris.

Maxim’s works are held in private and museum collections, including the National Museum of Photography in Colombia, the Benaki Museum in Greece, the National Museum of The History of Ukraine in WWII.


War devastates everything. It cripples human souls and bodies, destroys buildings, and harms nature. There’re no winners and no losers. All that remains are destruction, pain, and suffering. The War It puts on an unforgettable footprint on everything that touches.
This is a story of Ukraine in its period of self-affirmation as an independent European country. For nearly a decade, I’ve documented many aspects of the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, photographing the conflict from both sides. I never intended to be a conflict/war photographer, and I still don’t, but the events that had unfolded in my country had brought me a clear understanding that I couldn’t stay apart and needed to capture this historical moment for the present and the future. And thus, starting from the Revolution of 2013-14, I’m chronicling this long-lasting battle of the Ukrainian people for freedom, independence, and national identity.


La guerra devasta tutto. Paralizza le anime e i corpi umani, distrugge gli edifici e danneggia la natura. Non ci sono vincitori e non ci sono perdenti. Tutto ciò che resta sono distruzione, dolore e sofferenza. La guerra mette un’impronta indimenticabile su tutto ciò che tocca.
Questa è la storia dell’Ucraina nel suo periodo di autoaffermazione come paese europeo indipendente. Per quasi un decennio ho documentato molti aspetti del confronto tra Russia e Ucraina, fotografando il conflitto da entrambe le parti. Non ho mai avuto intenzione di essere un fotografo di conflitti/guerra, e ancora non lo faccio, ma gli eventi che si sono svolti nel mio paese mi hanno portato a una chiara comprensione del fatto che non potevo stare in disparte e che dovevo catturare questo momento storico per il presente e il futuro. E così, a partire dalla Rivoluzione del 2013-14, sto raccontando questa lunga battaglia del popolo ucraino per la libertà, l’indipendenza e l’identità nazionale.

Descrizione della foto

1 – Evacuation of civilians from Irpin town, through a bridge destroyed by shelling. The bridge was destroyed by the Armed Forces of Ukraine to prevent the enemy from reaching Kyiv. On this day at 10 am women, children, and the elderly were supposed to be evacuated from the town by trains, but the enemy blew up the railroad tracks, and so people were asked to move to another place, from where they should be picked up by buses for transportation to the Kyiv railway station.
Un Evacuazione di civili dalla città di Irpin, attraverso un ponte distrutto dai bombardamenti. Il ponte è stato distrutto dalle forze armate ucraine per impedire al nemico di raggiungere Kiev. In questo giorno alle 10 donne, bambini e anziani avrebbero dovuto essere evacuati dalla città con i treni, ma il nemico ha fatto saltare in aria i binari della ferrovia, quindi è stato chiesto alle persone di trasferirsi in un altro luogo, da dove avrebbero dovuto essere raccolte in autobus per il trasporto alla stazione ferroviaria di Kiev.
Città di Irpin, regione di Kiev, Ucraina, 05.03.2022

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