Inaugural John Kobal Lecture at The Hood Museum @ Dartmouth College, USA
The inaugural John Kobal lecture - given online by Kevin Brownlow, the acclaimed film historian and film maker, on March 3rd 2022 - can now be viewed on YouTube using the link below:
CALL TO ACTION : STOP TANKS WITH BOOKS
‘I left all my life there…” a Ukrainian woman told the BBC on 8 March, day 13 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Her name wasn’t given, but her experience was all too familiar. In under two weeks, over 1 million Ukrainians had fled their home country, leaving everything behind, the majority arriving in Poland with no idea of the future. Anna Lukinova, pictured here, with her son Timofey, had already fled one Russian invasion in 2014 when, together with her husband Andrej, she left her native Crimea, after the peninsula was occupied by the Russian Federation. In 2017, when Mark Neville took this photograph, the family were living in Kyiv. But where are they now?
Neville has been photographing in Ukraine since 2015, first concentrating on people from Donetsk and Luhansk, in the Donbas region. Then in 2020 he moved to live in Ukraine and for the past two years has photographed the people as the threat of the Russian invasion moved closer. His book about Ukraine, Call to Action: Stop Tanks With Books, has just been published. What it shows is the life Ukrainians have left behind, perhaps forever. Every day since the war began, we have seen thousands of mothers and small children struggling to cross the border to safety, leaving their husbands, fathers, brothers, to defend their country. Stopping tanks with books might be a vain hope in the present circumstances, but for a better idea of Ukraine as a country and as a people who have lived with the fear of imminent invasion since 2014, Neville’s pictures and the stories in the book help our understanding of a place about which many people in western Europe and the UK have been all too ignorant.
Call to Action: Stop Tanks With Books is published by Nazraeli Press, available via Nazraeli.co.uk (UK and Europe) and Nazraeli.com (US).
In 2014, Mark Neville received a grant from the John Kobal Foundation towards his work in the Ukraine.