Mikhail Kalarashan – documentary photographer

Rada [2017 - 2021]

Inna and her three children left Luhansk in 2014 when war broke out in eastern Ukraine. They found a new home in the western part of the country, in the Carpathian mountains.

At first sight, “Rada - the story” reveals us the fate of Ukranian refugees. The mountains were able to hide this family from bullets and destruction and they have been safe for a long time. This could’ve been the end of the story. After all, the main thing happened and children are far away from the horrors of war. But the war is not the main thing of their life.

In spite of what she had experienced, Inna didn’t look back with fear and didn’t let the war become the main event in the life of her family. Her daughters and her son were able to have a normal childhood. The war changed their destinies, but a human being with inner peace is stronger than war.

“Sometimes people have to go through a big crisis in their life, in order to realize something important. Whatever people think is reliable: your own piece of land; your house — all of this can burst like a soap bubble, very quickly. Relationships can also end at some point, not always because you wanted to end it. We rely on very shaky and unreliable things.

It doesn’t matter what happens to us, that me and my children are refugees, but how we react to it is what matters. At some point I realized there are no victims, and there are no aggressors. There is only life, and we have to look at it without illusions or judgements.”

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