How has this project come to be?
After seeing what was happening over in Ukraine from the very beginning of the conflict, I really wanted to contribute in some effective way.
But for quite a while though, I felt impotent.
And then it struck me.
By using my 50 years in photography and digital image retouching, where I’ve often had to think laterally, I decided to illustrate what Adelaide would look like visually if it were a Ukrainian city today.
Essentially, reversing the role of our city with that of, let’s say… Kyiv, Mariupol or many other Ukrainian cities.
Armed with images of Adelaide as well as war-torn cityscapes I was able to rebuild… or should I say, create the devastation of our city, building by building.
Why did you do it?
Sometimes we have to imagine ourselves in other people’s circumstances to truly feel for them.
And with this approach my aim is to evoke a sense of empathy in the hope that people will support Ukrainians, specifically refugee children, and donate to the official fundraisers we promote.
How did you do it?
Cutting and pasting smoke, flames and architectural debris was a long process and had to be convincing, particularly where the perspective of destruction needed to overlay and match that of Adelaide.
The irony is that throughout my career, I’ve striven to ensure that my photography enhances things, including many of the buildings depicted in our “before” image. Here I’m actually destroying them.
Where will the money go?
$35 for therapeutic food for recovery from severe malnutrition.
$50 for psychological support for children traumatised by the conflict.
$144 could provide two emergency first aid kits with life-saving medical supplies and medicine, for injured children and families.
$255 for an early childhood kit with supplies for 50 children with no home or school.
Why is today (August 24) significant?
Along with the 6 month anniversary of the invasion, today is Independence Day in Ukraine.
Six months of their lives have been taken away from these children.
There is no doubt we live in a privileged country. Australians are a caring empathetic nation capable of enormous consideration and generosity. I see myself as a catalyst in releasing that empathy with my photography.