See the war-struck Ukraine in peacetime through photographer Avantika Meattle’s lens

The solo photography exhibition by Avantika Meattle, Ukraine: Untold [Glimpses] gives you a peak into the amazing life in Ukraine, prior to the war breakout.

When Avantika Meattle flew to Ukraine around the New year 2022, in hopes of finding beauty and glory in the culture and architecture of a new, unexplored country, she came back content. But merely a few months later, the country became unrecognisable. That’s when the photographer decided it was time to shine some light on other side of the war-struck Ukraine through a photography exhibition of her recent encounters.

Tness the glimpses of an untouched ukraine.
Witness the glimpses of an untouched Ukraine. Image: Courtesy Avantika Meattle.

Inaugurated by Shashi Tharoor, Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram, at India Habitat Centre‘s Open Palm Court in Delhi, the solo photography exhibition, Ukraine: Untold [Glimpses] captures the true glory of the country, prior to the current devastation. During her short, rather impromptu trip to Kyiv and Lviv earlier this year, Meattle captured people, their vibrant culture, architectural marvels, and everything opposite of what we witness happening now.

“I fell in love with the country, there is a lot of history back there just like India. People are seeing the current Ukraine through news, but I wanted to show them what Ukraine was at its glory, at its peak, the architecture…I wanted people to experience Ukraine just like I did — with love,” said Meattle addressing the media.

Photographer avantika meattle with her photographers.
Photographer Avantika Meattle with her photographers. Image: Courtesy Sushmita Srivastav.

Speaking on the occasion, Tharoor said, “I want to say this turnout is very impressive. It’s a wonderful collection of photographs. Avantika travelled to Ukraine in January and we’ve seen the results on the walls of this lovely space of the Indian Habitat Centre. She also has a very (very) interesting eye and as a result she has given life to various images. It’s absolutely fascinating if you get to see a place with a certain level of poignancy because we don’t know whether any of those buildings in the pictures are still standing after the relentless bombings.”  

The solo display of ukraine before the war broke out.
The solo display of Ukraine before the war broke out. Image: Courtesy Sushmita Srvahl

This exhibition is a beautiful series of architectural blend of Nordic, European, Russian, and Ottoman history and cultures, displayed through various media to showcase pre-war life in the country, including postcards, large prints, lenticular display, media box, and video projection. The exhibition is on display till March 31. All proceeds from the sales will go towards Ukraine relief efforts.

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