/ Maryna Shtanko / Photo story


I moved to Germany in March 2022 after Russia started a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. So did a lot of other Ukrainians. Despite being safe, a lot of them still did not feel comfortable. The realization that there are so many people living under missile attacks while you are safe is common for many people who had to flee Ukraine. I was taking pictures of dislocated people who moved to Germany. By cutting the pictures and mixing the parts of the photos I am trying to recreate the world of people who feel divided into pieces. They are physically in Europe but their thoughts are in their homeland. I also added embroidery which is an essential cultural phenomenon in Ukraine.

Maryna Shtanko is a visual artist, photographer, and bookmaker born in 1992 in Poltava, Ukraine. She has a Master’s degree in German Language & Literature (2014). She moved to Germany after Russia started a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Maryna got a special mention from “Urbanautica Institute Awards 2022” and became one of the FRESH EYES Talent 2023 by GUP Magazine. In her artistic practice, Maryna questions migration, personal freedom, memory, phobias, and mythology. She mostly works with analog photography but also explores other media like bookmaking, textiles, embroidery, text, and illustration. Maryna’s work has been exhibited in Ukraine, Switzerland, Austria, Israel, Lithuania, Germany, and Slovenia.