A Ukrainian photographer is using TikTok to turn war zone destruction into art

by AryanArtnews
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This is a scene that Ukrainian photographer Valeria Shashenok witnesses every day as he walks down the street in the war-torn Ukrainian Chernihiv. Shashenok is evacuating to an underground bunker in a city in northern Ukraine with her mother, her father and the dog “Tory”. Her close friend has already run away.

But instead of nodding to the destruction around her, Shashenok turned war into art.

Shashenok uses TikTok to record her daily life. Her video has been spread by word of mouth and has been played millions of times.

In the video that made her famous, Shashenok dances to “Che La Luna” with the caption “My typical day in a bomb shelter.” She uses a heat gun like a hair dryer because the dog is hiding under a blanket. Her mother cooks in a pot on the floor.

In another video, Shashenok stands in front of a pile of rubble. The caption says, “Today, Putin destroyed one of the old buildings in my city. It was a movie theater that survived World War II.” Then she showed a large window nearby and the glass shattered to the ground. “The windows popped out from the impact of the neighboring houses.”

In yet another example, she shows the bare shelves of a grocery store with the caption “If you want to buy food in a supermarket during the war in Ukraine”.

When asked why CNN’s Pamela Brown started posting these videos on TikTok on Sunday, Shashenok said, “It seems my mission to show people what they look like in real life. I feel. That’s real life and I’m here. ”

She continued. “Many Russians write to me that we are with you …. There is a lot of fake news in Russia, and most of them have us at war in my country. I don’t believe it is .. My mission is to show the whole world what is happening now in the real world and you can now see the war (o) n Tik Tok I can do it.”

Tik Tok announced on Sunday that it will shut down some parts of Russia in the light of the country’s new “fake news” law punishing false information.
However, despite the growing status of the star, Shashenok is worried about the fate of his country. “I live every day hoping that tomorrow’s war will end, but everything is getting worse,” Shashenok wrote to CNN’s Whilein America on Sunday. On Monday, she wrote to CNN, “Everyone is afraid of their lives.”

Recently, many cities, including Chernihiv, have repeatedly shattered their desire to open safe evacuation corridors for civilians, and Ukraine has accused Russia of attacking evacuation routes.

Like many in Ukraine, Shashenok’s family is hesitant to leave as evidence of Russian violence against Ukrainian citizens grows. Shashenok was asked by CNN on Monday if she and her family would try to escape during the planned ceasefire, saying, “If Russian troops don’t kill civilians tomorrow, yes, go on March 9th. “. She was asked again on Tuesday, she said, and her family has no plans to leave the bunker yet.

Even though he fears violence from Russia, Shashenok still has big dreams. She told CNN on Monday that Tik Tok was her future.

“Maybe I can come to the US and work like a TikTok journalist,” she said.

Hope for a new life and a new beginning keeps Shashenok moving. “People need to value freedom. That is the most important thing we have.”


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