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Sunflowers Will Still Grow

Concept: Sunflowers Will Still Grow is a multimedia art project to document the cultural stories of Ukrainian refugees who fled to Gummersbach after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

The title draws on the fact that sunflowers have been used as a symbol of peace throughout Ukraine's history, and are its national flower!

The UNHCR termed this as one of the largest human displacement crises in the world, with 13+ million Ukrainians fleeing their homes.

It is important to document this time to understand how Ukrainian people lived through Europe's worst refugee crisis since WWII. It will serve as an important visual evidence in the history of human culture and migration.

Process: When Russia invaded Ukraine, Saurabh’s first thought was to cover the war, but instead, he decided to make portraits of his new neighbours from Kyiv. He soon collaborated with a Ukrainian writer Anastasiia. Together, they visit families and conduct interviews. They simply sit and listen to the stories of Ukrainians focused on their culture and integration. Sometimes with and sometimes without the camera!

Team: Anastasiia Reshetnyk is an 18-year-old Ukrainian refugee. She is studying journalism and is proficient in 3 languages: Ukrainian, Russian, and English. She is lead on writing part of this project. Saurabh Narang is an award-winning Indian visual storyteller based in Gummersbach. He is lead on visual part of this project.

Video Portraits > Interviews