At the moment I can't find any sense in continuing to share positive vibes through images while we are overwhelmed by ugliness and human suffering.. What can you do as a photographer? I don't know Ukraine, and Ukrainians very little, but I know Russians and a bit of Russia. Some might say the dark side of the force... But the other day I heard a speech by Ursula von der Leyen addressed to "the other Russia". So maybe we can use photos to talk to another Russia...​​​​​​​
In the past years I could spend some days in Russia for work reasons. After Putin's aggression against Ukraine, I dive into series of pictures made during that trip. It reminds of the "pacific" impression felt at that time. Cannot believe it's coming from the country and people I know.Obviously there is a difference between the despot and the Russian people. I have Russian friends or colleagues and I know that it's not Russia, but Putin's tanks who attack neighbours and kill civilians. [26.2.2022]
​​​​​​​However, I remember a particular feeling while wandering around Moscow, and that gives a personal interpretation of what this war could mean... Most of the analysts say it's a war of the past century. There is a regressive tale of supremacy and death in the war imposed on the Ukrainians and Russians by Putin. This dictator, besides being mad, leads into a wrong fight to keep us an old world, because he is convinced that Russia has nothing to gain in building the future world. [28.2.2022]​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
​​​​​​​Instead of returning to the past, we can propose another chapter to History, the story of a fight we must carry out together to save a planet which is already burning. No advices, no lessons to give of course, it would be too easy on social media while people fight to save their lives and freedom in Kiev... But if there's only one message, especially to the Russian people: stand up and overthrow Putin. Another fight is waiting for us urgently, to save life on this planet, instead of wasting time in sowing death to rule the world.  [1.3.2022]​​​​​​​
Moscow, and especially the Red Square, were quite a mythical place for me. For years during the Cold War it meant an inaccessible place on the other side of the iron wall. I remember how, in the 70s, how Russia was seen as a threat for western Europe. So I was quite fascinated by the clues of this time period through the soviet monuments and buildings, but also the traditional orthodox religious architecture.[2.3.2022]
But wandering in Moscow I had the feeling that people in this place shared the same yearnings as western people. Everywhere the entanglement of the traditional Russian culture or soviet relics. Recent places and buildings involve the codes and archetypes of the liberal and western way of life. [3.3.2022]
Like nowhere else, Moscow exhibits the trappings of an affluent Western capital to the glory of the global market. One of the most obvious symbols is the GUM (Glavny Universalny Magazin) i.e. "Main Department Store". One of the most luxurious and largest luxury shopping malls in the world, just opposite Lenin's Mausoleum. During the Cold War, a Russian deputy saw it as sacrilege and wanted to close it. If Putin wanted denazification and to take on the western world, he would just have to turn his tanks left during a parade in Red Square. [5.3.2022]
Nowadays Moscow is mix of the three beliefs. Politics, with the imperial baroque of the tsars and the monumental soviet buildings. The religious, with the Orthodox cathedrals in a traditional Russian architecture. And then the business, with recent trading skyscrapers and buildings dedicated to entertainment. One will observe that everything that is being built recently is in the latter category. Moscow is ostensibly westernizing.[6.3.2022]
So... yes it's a paradox, but I think it's the first global war on climate change. It's the war of those who refuse this fight. The war of those who want to bring us back enemies as in the 20th century, so they don't have to wage all together the only legitimate fight of the 21st century.[9.3.2022]​​

I understood from visiting Russia that some countries like this had embraced the liberal model too recently to accept resilience, and to resign from their recent growth and comfort. What lessons would we have to give them, we who have benefited from it for decades?
They will reject the real fight because it calls into question a liberal model that has been handed down to them whether they liked it or not, based on fossil fuels which support their economy, and which their population will not want to give up as it has just gotten a taste of it. These countries which have recently gained access to the Western lifestyle are the most reluctant to give up this world they had dreamed of for decades. To impose a war on the territorial and ideological values ​​of the 20th century is to refuse to wage, united, the global war against global warming to save the living. It is to refuse to admit that this fight is becoming for everyone the only worthwhile global priority. 
These are the convulsions of a world a fight of which it does not control the rules.[11.3.2022]
I made a misinterpretation at the beginning of this war. It's even more machiavelic on Putin's part. It is not simply a desire to take us back to the wars of the last century in order to remain a dominant power. I was wrong on two points: - This war, which refuses the only real fight necessary, in fact precipitates us into the clashes that we feared because it will starve the countries of the South even earlier than expected and will cause migration. - it allows Putin to confiscate on one pantry of the whole world to make us dependent on its wheat in addition to its oil.[16.3.2022]

U. von der Leyen at the European Parliament 
1 March 2022
"The actions of the Kremlin are severely damaging the long-term interests of Russia and its people. More and more Russians understand this as well. They are marching for peace and freedom. And how does the Kremlin respond to this? By arresting thousands of them. But ultimately, the longing for peace and freedom cannot be silenced. There is another Russia besides Putin's tanks. And we extend our hand of friendship to this other Russia. Be assured, they have our support"

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