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Ukrainian Crisis

Ludmila Ketslakh | Poland

Escape from hell, Medyka.

I was invited by the Art Residency in Poland six months prior to the war. The residency was in Rzeszow, a town near the border with Ukraine. The timing of being present during this turbulent time was accidental. Nevertheless, I was overwhelmed to witness the welcoming Polish attitude to the new reality.

Polish people define for the entire world the exact meaning of the word humanity; they showed the true generosity, genuine compassion, and concern from the heart. They have opened their country, their houses, and their hearts for Ukraine. It’s unbelievable what is going through the entire country. Distribution centers are on every corner; trendy shopping malls give out clothes, shopping stores provide food, train stations distribute sim card and phones. Jewish Community Centers set up throughout towns help distribute any needed supplies.

In Medyka, a border town with Ukraine, I witnessed the entire world come to support and give assistance to refugees and alleviate their pain of transition.

I was fortunate to see the best of humanity!

I became a photographer in 2001. I graduated from Belarusian Polytechnic

Institute with master’s degree in Thermodynamics. Currently I am completing the degree in Photography Technology at WCC in Ann Arbor. During the last nineteen years I have attended numerous workshops at Santa Fe, Maine and TWP photographic workshops. I had chance to meet and study with outstanding teachers, they are the most influential photographers of our time who changed the way I look at the world. The list includes Sam Abell, Antonin Krotochvil, Eugene Richards, Alex Majoli, Andrea Modica, Miguel Gandert, Paul Elledge and Leasha Overturf.

2022MonoViision Photography Award in Photojournalism,‘Ukrainian Crises’project

European Photography Awards, Platinum Winner

PX#3 State of the World, Curatorial Selection

IPA 2022, Editorial / Press Photographer of the Year

BIFA 2022, Gold Winner in Category Editorial-Photo Essay

2021Foto Top 50. Group exhibition of contemporary photography in Moscow.

2020Black & White Magazine, 2020 Spotlight Award Winner.‘Russian Past–The Gulag”project.

MIFA, 2020 Gold Award in Editorial Photo essay and Bronze Award in Personal Portfolio.

“Russian Past - The Gulag’was shortlisted, singling it out as one of the best in the 2020 Edition of the London

International Creative Competition.

TIFA, Award in Portfolio - Personal.

Monovision Photography Award in Street photography.

2017Kassel Dummy Book Award 2017.The book“Uncertainty of Being”is being exhibited at international photo events in Istanbul, Moscow, Rome, Madrid, Dublin, Aarhus, Zagreb and Lotz

2015Black & White magazine featured my work in December 2015 issue, #112, Chernobyl revisited,

2014Black & White Magazine | 2013 Spotlight Award Winner

Feature article and portfolio in Black & White, October 2014 issue #105

A Matter of Taste. Group exhibition. Michigan Women’s Historical Center & Hall of Fame

Cover of the book image.“Elderly Policies in Japan and Scandinavia: Aging Societies East and West”by Paul Milford.

2013Winner of the Best of ASMP 2013. The ASMP interview is on the ASMP Web site at this link: http://asmp.org/best-2013-ketslakh

People of My World. Solo exhibition. Florissant Valley Art Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2012APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) Photography Expedition to the Philippines

XXI. My Pacific Ocean project. Selected by RIANOVOSTI, the Russian news and information agency, as one of 21 photographers chronicling life and work in 21 countries.

XXI. My Pacific Ocean. Group exhibition. Economic Summit, Vladivostok, Primorsky Krai, Russia

XXI. My Pacific Ocean. Group exhibition. Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. Russia

The book XXI. My Pacific Ocean was published alongsite with the exhibition.

2011ZOOM. Russians Everywhere.

Feature article and portfolio.

Mirror Image: Women & Photography. Group exhibition. Florissant Valley Art Gallery, St. Louis, MO

Themis. Group exhibition. St. Louis, University Museum of Art, St. Louis, MO

Chernobyl 25 Years After. Portfolio selection. FotoFest 2012 Biennial, Houston, TX

2010Group exhibition. JCC, Ann Arbor, MI

2009Sacred Journeys by Rebecca Hint. Photograph featured in publication.

Solo exhibition at University of Michigan Hospital, Taubman Center

2009FOCOS (Foundation of Orthopedic and Complex Spine) book publication featuring expedition images of medical professionals working with Ghana patients suffering from bone disorders. http://www.blurb.com/b/1188494-high-spirit-ghana

2008Exhibition and fundraising campaign for non-profit organization FOCOS. Detroit, MI

2007Group exhibition. JCC, Ann Arbor, MI

Photography expedition to Ghana to promote the work of NGO organization Ortho-FOCOS

I think of myself as an explorer out to discover life while trying to record and understand the essence of human character. I am a documentary photographer addressing social issues that concern me.

Formally a Mechanical Engineer, I became a photographer because of my desire to explore different worlds, to seek and document unique cultures, and to advocate against the dilution of those cultures into a dangerous and dull societal uniformity. My aspiration—to share the stories of the people I meet—is based upon my deep belief that the world is a beautiful and mystifying place, and that the people who inhabit it are enigmatic and fascinating creatures, each with their own unique experience.

Born in Minsk, Belarus, I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA since 1979.

Email: lketslakh@comcast.net

Web site: www.ludaketslakh.com

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