Let Us Not Fall Asleep While Walking

PhotographerDavid Denil
Prize1st Place in People / Culture
Entry Description

'Let Us Not Fall Asleep While Walking' depicts the psychological state of this Ukraine looking at its future while haunted by its past and memory. The images are metaphorical representations from the everyday life encountered where time seems frozen but dreams of hope still linger.


In 1991, Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union in the aftermath of its dissolution at the end of the Cold War. Following independence, Ukraine declared itself a neutral state. In 2013, protests against the government of President Yanukovych broke out in downtown Kiev after the government made the decision to suspend the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement and seek closer economic ties with Russia. This began a several-months-long wave of demonstrations and protests known as the Euromaidan, which later escalated into the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that ultimately resulted in the overthrowing of Yanukovych and the establishment of a new government. These events precipitated the annexation of Crimea by Russia in March 2014, and the War in Donbass since March 2014 and still ongoing. Within this first project I translated the psychological dimensions of Ukraine as a collision between past, present and future. Mentored by the Carl De Keyzer, I chose not to show the war in the east, but to focus on the aspects of life presented to me in Kiev. My work functions as an extension on the documental approach and tends to reveal universal questions that go beyond actual fact or context. I see my work as a collection of short impulses to subject matter. The main goal is to produce durable work over time where collisions with past and future are implied as autonomous realities questioning our daily motivations. Parallel to that is the question of the real less important then the questions visual representations can arouse. It is the mode of the construction itself that reveals the hidden potential of meaning within. The act of observation provides its final outcome. Together with Swiss based graphical artist Melina Wilson, British Ukrainian researcher and cultural manager Myroslava Hartmond and the American historian Timothy David Snyder, I am working on the final layout and textual content of the book. 137 New images will be embedded. As many images as victims during the 5 day revolution at Maidan. These images will be interconnected with found footage, texts and subject related archive materials. The publishing of the book is planned early 2018.