The news cycle is a curious thing, or maybe just wearyingly predictable. The story that dominates TV bulletins and newspaper headlines for days disappears barely mentioned once media managers decide we must be bored of it. It’s often left to photographers to persevere where the TV crews once stood, and so it is with the situation in Ukraine, where a turbulent few months have racked the country physically and emotionally.
Marco Kesseler’s extraordinary This Land Of Ours That Is Not Ours series was taken as the pro-European movement clashed with government forces on the streets of Kiev. It takes its name from a line of Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko, whose words resonate ever more truly with Russia’s increasing designs on parts of the country.
These pictures were taken when both sides in the protest were rallying their troops and steadying their nerves, preparing for what was about to unfold. As such the photographs bristle with tension, whether that’s in the distracted faces of the people depicted or the seemingly mundane details that assume portentous significance, such as the stockpiled bottled water.
This is documentary photography at its most raw, its most powerful, and proves that Marco is a creative talent of the very highest order.