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Beauty and brutality: Art project sees Ukrainian ballerinas dancing on bullet casings

Installation of "Unbroken" by Felipe Jacome and Svitlana Onipko set outside National Opera of Ukraine building in Kyiv on April 25, 2023.
Installation of "Unbroken" by Felipe Jacome and Svitlana Onipko set outside National Opera of Ukraine building in Kyiv on April 25, 2023. Copyright Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP
Copyright Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP
By Doloresz Katanich with AFP
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A powerful new installation 'Unbroken' has been erected outside the National Opera of Ukraine in Kyiv, displaying the picture of a ballerina printed on bullets.

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The 'Unbroken' project is made up of a series of portraits of Ukrainian ballerinas printed with ultraviolet ink on bullet casings, held together with resin.

It is a collaboration between Ecuadorian humanist photographer Felipe Jacome and Svitlana Onipko, a Ukrainian photographer and former dancer in Ukrainian National Ballet. The artists met two years before the war in Kyiv during a photoshoot.

"We wanted to do some art that could talk about the war, it could serve as a as some kind of denunciation, some kind of a protest against the war," says photographer Felipe Jacome.

Felipe Jacome and Svitlana Onipko
Photo by Felipe Jacome and Svitlana Onipko.Felipe Jacome and Svitlana Onipko

Russia´s invasion of Ukraine began on 24 February 2022, and has caused the death of at least 42,000 people, with 15,000 more missing. Approximately 14 million people are displaced, half of which fled the country. 

For this project, the two artists used images of Ukrainian ballerinas displaced by the conflict and printed them onto bullet casings with a special technique. 

"The strength, determination, and beauty of the dancers are juxtaposed with the senseless violence, brutality, and destruction inflicted by the bullets," states the website dedicated to 'Unbroken'.

There are twelve different pictures making up the whole project, featuring nine ballet artists. Besides the one displayed in Kyiv, there is another picture exhibited in the García Márquez Garden in Madrid, until 20 July.

Watch the video above to learn more about this unique and powerful project.

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