A series of pictures that depicts a feature story line or single feature theme. 12 photos maximum per story. A picture story depicting the President of the United States, other U.S. politicians, or U.S. politics is NOT eligible in this category.
Borodianka, Ukraine.Sunday April 17, 2022.
SUMMARY: What Remains…
Eerie still life paintings in shades of Burnt Sienna. Remnants of everyday life, frozen in a macabre stillness the moment time stopped when Russian bombs rained down on Ukraine’s residential dwellings in the liberated towns of Irpin, Borodianka and Kharkiv, Ukraine. Exquisite light kisses the scorched palette.
Baby cribs and wheelchairs. Charred cameras that once held tender family photos. A coffee cup sits on a table near a recliner, singed and flaking. A kitchen table still holds food left uneaten. What were they cooking that last day of normal?
Lives led, now put on hold. Or extinguished. Precious mementoes reduced to ash. Twisted metal, empty chairs, melted microwaves. Too painful to ponder what the power of these weapons of destruction does to human flesh at the point of impact.
Civilian things. Not the stuff of combatants. Humanity’s hopes, dreams, loves – in war, merely termed ‘collateral damage’.
The scorched buildings hold ethereal scenes reminiscent of fine art. Abstract, impressionistic patterns.
A popular cat café is in ruins, once the scene of camaraderie and conversations over cappuccinos.
Broken glass becomes a metaphor for shattered lives. Survivors visit in bittersweet homecomings to pick through the pieces of their former reality, saved from the bombardment by fickle destiny.
Others will never return.
Female court bailiffs and others look out the second story window waiting for the arrival of US actor Johnny Depp during the Depp v. Heard trial at the Fairfax County Circuit Courthouse in Fairfax, Virginia, on Friday, May 27, 2022. Actor Johnny Depp is suing ex-wife Amber Heard for libel after she wrote an op-ed piece in The Washington Post in 2018 referring to herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.”
Award of Excellence
Award of Excellence
In an age-old adage, love transcends adversity. At a tender age, Ira was forced to mature quickly. She plays footsie with his prosthetic leg and stands by her man, even when he can’t. ‘I was in love with his legs, especially his tattoos,’ says Ira wistfully. They said: Face your fear. Accept your war.
In a country with a shattered economy, it’s a challenge for hospitals, also under attack and understaffed, to provide adequate care.
Misha displays not an ounce of self-pity. His ammunition is humor. When asked his weight and height he quips, ‘With or without legs?’
He faces a new profound battle - to walk again. But freed from the confines of a wheelchair they swim together fluidly as one body.
They both believe marriage itself is more important than a big wedding, but someday will get that piece of paper. For all intents and purposes, they feel married, even wearing the rings after a mutual decision to spend their lives together rather than a proposal. ‘It’s a good thing,’ jokes Misha. ‘I can’t get down on one knee now.
They explain how most couples would get on each other’s nerves while living in such a small space for over 6 months, 24/7. ‘You should see us fight. Like cats and dogs,’ laughs Misha. Then Ira clarifies, ‘I love everything about him but sometimes I want to choke him.’
Conversation turns serious when Putin’s name comes up. Misha, the warrior, talks with benevolence. His demure bride says she wants to murder the Russian leader.
He will receive state-of-the-art prosthetics in the US.
‘God has plans for me’, states Misha confidently. ‘I need bionic legs to be able to lift my child off the ground in the future.’