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Maria Pleshkova

Kiev : Post-Apocalypse

→  commander un tirage papier

Euromaidan was a wave of demonstrations, civil unrest and revolution in Ukraine, which began on 21 November 2013. Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Kiev in response to President Viktor Yanukovych's rejection of trade agreements with the European Union. The protesters marched into Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) demanding closer European integration as well as the resignation of President Yanukovych and his government. Everybody was sick and tired of widespread government corruption, abuse of power, and violation of human rights in Ukraine. People stayed at the Independence Square for months despite heavy police presence, regularly sub-freezing temperatures, and snow. Escalating violence from government forces caused the level of protests to rise. A turning point came in late February 2014, when protesters and police clashed. Up to 100 people were killed, hundreds of people were injured. It was then when President Yanukovych was ousted. And immediately a series of changes occurred, including the installation of a new interim government, the restoration of an older version of the Constitution, and the call to hold impromptu presidential elections within months.  
I came to Kiev in late February 2014, when the bloodiest clashes were over. The Independence Square wasn't a war zone anymore, but the main anti-government protest camp was still on. I faced barricades, tents and ruins in the heart of the city. The spirit of war was still in the air. Citizens would come to Independence Square bringing flowers and candles, bidding farewell to killed protesters and realizing the recent events. Ukraine passed an important milestone and everybody believed that a renewed state was about to appear. It was time full of hope.  
Kiev's Independence Square was a place where people fought for their freedoms and rights, and for a better future. It was a place which saw clashes between riot police and protesters, violence and deaths of many people.  
I focused on making pictures of the revolution aftermath. I paid special attention to landscapes, because memory and place have always been deeply interconnected. I photographed the Independence Square and its neighbourhood, which were filled with symbols and memory.  
I aimed to record a moment in history, which was a turning point for Ukraine. While photographing, I shared people's hopes, fears and pain. I wanted not only to fix the moment, but to pay tribute with my photographs to to those who lost their lives at Maidan.  
History tends to repeat itself, and Euromaidan should not be forgotten.