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​© 2019 thomas de wouters

My photography is necessarily an interpretation of reality, subjective, but it captures instants of life without ever trying to distort it by an artificial construction

Thomas de Wouters photography
Thomas de Wouters photography

behind the scene

LUHANSK, Lonely women in their inner world

Luhansk, as also Donetsk, is one of these self-proclaimed republics of the Ukraine, in conflict since May 2014. But unlike Donetsk, Luhansk has no “press-marketing”, no infrastructure, no central authority and an even more tragic humanitarian situation which nobody talks about.

In Donetsk, fighting is mainly concentrated around the airport, whereas the fighting frontline has extended over the entire republic of Luhansk, destroying villages and industries and leaving the population dormant.  These social outcasts… families doomed by the conflict to manage as they can, handicapped  people afflicted today more than previously, children without a future and elderly people without appeasement in their old age.

Retirement homes, orphanages, lunatic asylums, hours and days to immerse myself every time. April 5th, it's been about ten days I am there. I am in a retirement home which reminds me the images of Soviet sanatoriums. Huge dark corridors where roam the patients, blocks separated by fences, a bitter smell takes you, unbearable. I am in the block 3 for illness, insane and end of life people. Here the mentally ill persons pass around me, as if I did not exist, alone in their inner world. A motionless woman talks to herself when another one crosses the field. I capture this moment.

Retirement house Tenistay, Luhansk, Ukraine, April 5, 2015

click to enlarge contact sheet