“An image of peace and an image of war”

A photo exhibition commemorating Amina Okuyeva launched in Dnipro

A photo exhibition com­me­mo­rat­ing fighter for freedom and inde­pen­dence of Ukraine Amina Okuyeva has opened at the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Civic Heroics in the ATO Events Museum. The display has brought together 34 photos, including ones from the personal archive of Okuyeva’s family. Mayor of Dnipro Borys Filatov joined the Ukrainian warrior woman’s brothers-in-arms, relatives, and friends during the opening of the photo exhibition called “Amina: Life.” “We talked a lot, and she never asked for anything for herself. I would like us to remember her not as a warrior woman. Many people think that she lived by war. On the contrary, she lived by peace, she lived by Ukraine,” Filatov said.

Okuyeva’s mother Iryna Kaminska told the audience about the principal symbols of the exhibition. “There are two portraits next to each other. One shows her with folded hands, another portrays her holding an assault rifle. These are two images: an image of peace and an image of war. In one, you see the blue peaceful sky that inspired her dress, and folded hands, as she does not hold an assault rifle. Another photo is red-and-black, it is an active photo of the war where she holds an assault rifle. However, she smiles there too. Because she loves us all,” Kaminska explained. She also added that Okuyeva loved Dnipro for the unbending spirit of its residents.

The “Amina: Life” photo project presents amateur and professional photos that show events taking place over many years. It has brought together the most dramatic photos of the Revolution of Dignity and pictures taken in the hottest spots of the ATO: Debaltseve, Shchastia, Zaitseve, the industrial zone in Avdiivka, Troitske, and the Svitlodarsk Arc. The rest of the pictures which depict Okuyeva herself are works by Oleksandra Lysytska, an art photographer from Luhansk. The municipality and the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast State Administration helped to organize the exhibition in Dnipro. It can be viewed at 16, Dmytra Yavornytskoho Avenue in Dnipro until March 5. After that date, the photos will be sent to other cities of Ukraine, Europe and the US.

Okuyeva died near the village of Hlevakha, the Kyiv Region on October 30, 2017. The attackers shot up a car in which she rode along with her husband Adam Osmayev. One of Okuyeva’s last projects, called The Newest Fairy Tales of Ukraine, which has involved many well-known Ukrainians, including Dnipro mayor Filatov, will also live on to commemorate its founder.