|© Arthur Bondar|
Photographer Arthur Bondar has been making portraits of Ukrainian World War II veterans. He explains, “I’ve made this project during the last two years. I shoot with a classic instant camera–a Polaroid 600 Close Up–and old Polaroid 600 film. The main impetus for this story was when my grandmother, a veteran of World War II, died. Then I realized how many things I wanted to ask her. But I had a second chance because my other grandmother and her sister are veterans also. I decided to use Polaroid film because all these people will disappear like Polaroid film will fade, and all that we’ll have after they are gone are their signatures and letters. I found these people throughout Ukraine, during celebrations of Victory Day (9th of May) and other holidays, in the street, at bus and train stations, everywhere. Some subjects were unable to venture out, so I visited them at their houses in small villages and talked with them. They were so happy because nobody is interested in their life nowadays.” Bondar’s project was included in the 2010 Magnum Expression Awards short-list and selected as the First Prize for Pikto’s Top Pick Competition in Canada.