September 29, 2023


Arts Eternal

Ukrainian photographer uses TikTok to showcase war zone

Sirens blare in the distance. In all places she seems to be, there is certainly devastation. Windows are cracked and pieces of wood and building particles lie scattered in the streets. The streets are eerily empty.

This is the scene that Ukrainian photographer Valeria Shashenok witnesses each and every day when she walks down the road in war-torn Chernihiv, Ukraine. Shashenok is taking shelter in an underground bunker with her mother, father and doggy “Tory” in the northern Ukrainian metropolis. Her close good friends have by now fled.

But as a substitute of wallowing in the destruction all around her, Shashenok has turned the war into artwork.

Shashenok is making use of TikTok to document her day-to-day lifestyle. Her movies have absent viral, some getting tens of millions of views.

In the video clip that produced her famed, Shashenok dances to “Che La Luna” with the caption, “My regular day in a bomb shelter.” She utilizes a warmth gun like a hairdryer as her doggy hides less than a blanket. Her mom cooks in excess of a pot on the floor.

In a further online video, Shashenok stands just before a pile of rubble. The caption suggests, “Currently Putin destroyed one of the old setting up(s) in my town. It was a cinema that survived Globe War II.” Then she displays massive windows close by, the glass shattered on the floor. “Windows flew out from the pressure of effect in neighboring properties also.”

In nonetheless another, she reveals the bare cabinets of grocery a retailer with the caption: “If you want to obtain meals in a supermarket in the course of the war in Ukraine.”

When questioned by CNN’s Pamela Brown on Sunday why she began putting up these movies on Tik Tok, Shashenok mentioned, “I truly feel it can be like my mission to demonstrate persons how it appears in genuine existence. That it is real daily life, and I am listed here.”

She ongoing, “Several Russian men and women publish me that we are with you. … In Russia, (there is) a large amount of pretend information. And most of the folks really don’t believe that in my country we have a war. … My mission (is) to clearly show (the) full planet that it is transpire(ing) now in real everyday living, and you can see now (the) war (o)n Tik Tok.”

Tik Tok announced Sunday that it would suspend some functions in Russia in mild of the country’s new “faux news” law penalizing misinformation.

But even with rising stardom, Shashenok is concerned about the destiny of her region. “Each and every day I stay with a hope that tomorrow war will conclusion, but everything is obtaining even worse.” Shashenok wrote to CNN’s Meanwhile in The us on Sunday. On Monday, she wrote to CNN, “Anyone is terrified (for) their existence.”

In latest times, hopes for opening up safe and sound evacuation corridors for civilians out of a amount of cities, including Chernihiv, have been continuously dashed, with Ukraine accusing Russia of attacking escape routes.

Like quite a few persons in Ukraine, Shashenok’s loved ones is hesitant to go away as proof grows of Russian violence in opposition to Ukrainian civilians. Questioned by CNN on Monday whether or not she and her family members would try to flee throughout a planned ceasefire, Shashenok explained, “If Russian troops will not kill civilians tomorrow, yes I will go on (the) 9th (of) March.” Questioned yet again Tuesday, Shashenok explained her spouse and children had no ideas but to depart the bunker.

Even with the worry of encroaching violence from Russia, Shashenok nevertheless has huge desires. She informed CNN on Monday that Tik Tok is her foreseeable future now.

“Possibly I (can) arrive to (the) United Mentioned and function like a Tik Tok journalist,” she reported.

Hope for a new existence and a new commencing is what keeps Shashenok heading. “Individuals need to value freedom. It truly is the most vital (issue) we have.”

Get in touch

Are you in Ukraine? Do you have relatives in Ukraine? Are you or your relatives afflicted? EmailĀ [email protected].

  • Make sure you incorporate your identify, spot, and call details if you are willing to talk to a journalist with CTV News.
  • Your opinions might be utilized in a tale.