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16 June 2023

New exhibition captures 'the silence, not the noise of war' in Ukraine

Images that aim to capture the silence rather than the drama of conflict are the focus of a new photography exhibition ‘Ukraine at War’ launched this week at Bush House.

Images from the Ukraine at war exhibition launch

The Ukrainian Defence Attaché Colonel Vitalii Kraskovskyi and MP and former UK Cabinet Minister Brandon Lewis joined King’s staff and students at the launch of the exhibition by former SAS soldier and conflict photographer Adam Dobby.

Adam Dobby said, as a soldier on SAS missions, it was about the drama of war, but since becoming a conflict photographer, this has changed.

I guess my whole remit of what I was trying to do was look for the silence in war. So I hope you can look at these photographs and see there is no theatre I am trying to portray. It is just the silence of the individual in that particular moment in time. It is just about what we feel. It has taken away the noise of war.

Adam Dobby

The exhibition in The Exchange, launched on Tuesday 13 June ahead of the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London, was hosted by Dr Alastair Masser, visiting research fellow in the School of Security Studies and Director of Trafalgar Strategy.

He spoke of the devastating impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and also the resilience of its people.

One thing is for certain, conflict and war reveals the very best and the very worst of humanity. Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine has showcased some of the very worst. We have seen indiscriminate attacks on civilians. We have seen the torture and murder of Ukrainian prisoners of war. We have seen endless showcasing of bellicose nuclear brinkmanship. That said we’ve also seen, in the conduct of Ukraine’s government, its leadership, its military and its people, humanity at its very best.”

Dr Alastair Masser

Ukrainian Defence Attaché Colonel Vitalii Kraskovskyi said the images captured by Adam demonstrated what was happening in Ukraine. He spoke of the importance to people in Ukraine of the support given by the UK and other countries, including providing training, supplying equipment and a continued motivation to fight.

Our inspiration to fight for our homeland. It is our primary need, because our primary value is freedom.

Colonel Vitalii Kraskovskyi, Ukrainian Defence Attaché

The exhibition is at The Exchange, on the ground floor of the Bush House NE Wing, throughout June.

In this story

Alastair Masser

Visiting Research Fellow