Maxim Dondyuk

2015 Photographer of the Year

Maxim Dondyuk (Ukraine, 1983) is a visual artist working with documentary photography, based in Kyiv. His professional career began in Ukrainian media as a photojournalist in 2007. Since 2010 he is a freelancer, works on creating and promoting his own documentary projects.

In 2011 Maxim received Noor-Nikon Masterclass in Documentary Photography in Bucharest. Maxim prefers gonzo journalism. All his long-term projects ‘Uman, Rosh Hashana’ (2008-2012), ‘The Crimea Sich’ (2010-2013), ‘TB epidemic in Ukraine’ (2010-2012) it’s an analysis of the time, situation. He’s not interested in stereotypes, he is a direct participant in the events, and uses personal experiences and emotions in order to emphasize the basic meaning of the events.

His latest project ‘Culture of the Confrontation’, about revolution in Ukraine, opens second level, associational level in his photography. He had no goal to tell about time, place and what was happening. « I lost the line between reality and fiction. I wanted to evoke peoples’ associations. I wanted them to see what I saw. I saw not the Ukrainian revolution at the Independence Square, but battles from the legends or fairy tales». Maxim wants people to see through his photography something more important, to associate it with their memories from reading books, music, their own life.

Maxim collaborates with many international magazines such as Rolling Stone, TIME, Newsweek, Der Spiegel, STERN, Paris Match, Le Monde, PDN, Bloomberg Businessweek, Russian Reporter, Libération, Polka, 6Mois, Esquire etc. Also he works with international organizations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

His works were awarded with different grants and awards, including Finalist of the Prix Photography Prize, Winner of the Prix Photo La Quatrieme Image, Winner of the Ville de Perpignan Remi Ochlik Award, Magnum Photos competition ‘30 under 30’ for emerging documentary photographers, Finalist of the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography, Finalist of the Voies Off, Finalist for the FotoEvidence Book Award, Grand Prix ‘Best Global Health Story’ of the BD’s Hope for a Healthy World Photo Competition, Grand Prix of the ‘Best Photo of the Year’ at the contest ‘Photographer of the Year’, shortlist in the portraiture category of Sony World Photography Awards etc.

Maxim’s images are in private and museum collections.

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