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“Front Line – Peace Life” photo exhibition by J. T. Blatty
June 7, 2019 @ 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
An event every day that begins at 11:00 am, repeating until June 21, 2019
“You begin to realize that life is very short. All these problems like your job, your boss, all of this is so insignificant and people pay so much attention to it without even realizing that they have something fundamental—life.”
Alina “Zabava” Gordeeva, Volunteer Soldier
This exhibition is a collection of photo portraits and recorded stories of Ukraine’s volunteer soldiers, who have defended their homeland from the Russian insurgency starting in 2014 till today. Through large scale prints and oral history recordings, the exhibition tells the story of a generation of citizens, who of their own free will and without obligation to the government, deployed into a war-zone and risked everything to defend their homeland against Russia.
J.T. Blatty, a graduate of West Point, veteran, and photojournalist, traveled to eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region in 2014 where the armed conflict continues between Ukraine and Pro-Russian separatists. In Donbas, Blatty photographed and conducted oral history recordings with volunteer soldiers in Kyiv and embedded with those who are still serving. Since 2014, over 336,000 soldiers (documented) have fought and returned home to what they have labeled the “peace-life,” a short train ride or sometimes only kilometers away from the front line.
In Blatty’s war experience, having been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, fighting in another country allowed her to be able to better escape the physical and mental trauma when returning to the States. But Ukraine’s soldiers and veterans face an inescapable reality, fighting a war on their own land, making a transition to the “peace life” nearly impossible with the uncertainty of another invasion and no end to the war in sight. “This difficult transition inspired Blatty to create “Front Line – Peace Life.”
“War-fighters around the world share a commonality that transcends the boundaries of nation and conflict, and I’m dedicated not only to archive the faces and stories of these fighters, but also to tell the story about the ongoing war in the Donbas, about those who continue to fight it, and about Ukraine’s status as a country fighting for its independence, in the middle of Europe, in the 21st century.”
OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, May 31, at 7:00 p.m.
May 31 – June 23, 2019
For more information about this exhibition go to www.jtblatty.com.
Visit the Museum’s website at www.ukrainiannationalmuseum.org
Facebook: Ukrainian National Museum
For additional information, please call (312) 421-8020 or e-mail