Israeli photographer Pavel Volberg filmed the reality of the war in Ukraine

Photographer Pavel Volberg was not surprised when Russia declared war on Ukraine last February.

Born in Leningrad and raised in Israel, the award-winning photographer has been in Ukraine since 2014, following the events taking place in some eastern regions of the country and the Russian invasion.

“It was obvious,” Wolberg said. “We’ve obviously scaled it up, but it’s been working for eight years. »

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Wahlberg’s knowledge of Ukraine and its people is evident in his latest exhibition, Counter-Terrorist Operation Zone: Snapshots from the War in Ukraine, a collection of photographs taken between 2014 and 2019 by Belu-Simion Fainaru and Avital Bar-Shay.

It will be on display at the Wizo Haifa art gallery from November 22 to January 22.

The name of the exhibition is related to the name given by the Ukrainian government to Donbas, the eastern region of the country under the control of Russian forces.

Wahlberg’s pictures, whether of a woman in the middle of a burning village, of child soldiers fighting in a forest, or of a battlefield, all in turn show that it took place during the war and tell of recent events. Nine months have passed since Russia invaded Ukraine.

These photos were taken in eastern Ukraine, an area almost entirely under Russian control. Wolberg adds that the region has always been subject to intense political turmoil following the whims of politics and leaders.

“When I look at these photos, I imagine what could have happened now,” she breathes.

Wolberg was already a well-known and award-winning press photographer Ha’aretzfrom New York Times and famous European photo agencies, as he embarks on a journey to find out what is happening in Ukraine.

It was a return to his roots, where he grew up but ultimately had few connections.

Photographer Pavel Wolberg’s photographs of Ukraine before the Russian invasion in 2022 will be on display at Wizo Haifa from 22 November to 22 January 2023 (Courtesy: Pavel Wolberg)

Photographer Pavel Volberg’s photographs of Ukraine before the Russian invasion of 2022 will be exhibited at the Wizo Haifa exhibition from November 22 to January 22, 2023.

Wahlberg immigrated to Israel with his mother and grandmother at the age of 8: he grew up in Beer Sheva.

After graduating from the Camera Obscura Art School in Tel Aviv, Wahlberg focused his work on fine art photography combined with current events.

In 2005, he received the Leon Constantiner Award for Israeli Photography from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

His photographs of war, terrorism, the military, the ultra-Orthodox community and the city of Tel Aviv, where he lives and works, have traveled the world.

Micha Bar-Am, winner of the Israel Prize for Photography, explains that Wahlberg “succeeds in demonstrating that news photography can be symbolic photography.”

His work sometimes gives us unbearable visions.

“We can no longer go to this region, there are no more photos of what happened there,” Wolberg laments.

“Other than what we see from time to time on social media or YouTube, it’s impossible to know what’s going on there. I keep in touch with them on Facebook sometimes. I hope to see them again one day. »

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