I have begin taking photos since I was 11, taking my father’s Brownie Super 27 camera, without his permission, to shoot people throwing stones at soldiers in the street of Montreal, during the 1970 October crisis. I found out early that I...
Typical room for a family in the bunker. Here 7 people sleep and live in this room. The grandmother on the left, the mother and her five kids. The father has gone, no clear explanation from the mother.
Anton, 30 years old. No work and can't join the separatist army as he wish because of its legs got injured after a severe car accident several years ago. So he spend the days either inside the bunker or visiting is house in Petrovsky and taking care of his little garden.
In April 2015, with the help of Tomas Vlach, emergency coordinator for the NGO "People in Need", I visited families living in old cold war bunkers in the city of Marianka and Petrovsky - Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. They live there for two reasons: either their houses got demolished or damaged by the fighting in between Ukrainian army and the separatists. Or, they are just afraid, traumatize by the constant sound of the mortars, bombs, automatic weapons, etc so they prefer to abandoned their home and find refuge in these old underground concrete constructions. Most of the families began abandoning their houses last august as the battle between the protagonists was extremely intensive.
These bunkers are located in the separatists control zone so access for humanitarian organizations is possible but very difficult to organize in a war area.Some of the bunkers have electricity but most of them don't have any water system. So either humanitarian organization bring bottles of water or they run during the day to their houses to fill-up bottle. The walls of the bunkers have no finish on it so, a constant white dust from the cement is lying on beds, tables, or raise-up when you walk even if the families do their best to clean it up. Since end of cold war, these bunkers are not in use so the owners (coal mines, municipality, etc.) tolerate these squatters for humanitarian reasons.