OKS Ostkreuzschule for Photography Berlin ● Linn Schröder
12 analogue color prints, framed in walnut wood; 60 × 45 cm; 15 analogue color prints; 24 × 30 cm; 1 publication
Niewybuch (Unexploded Bombs)—War as Child’s Play?
Natalia Kepesz, 2020–2021
Since February 2022 the use of weapons and urban warfare and rescuing the wounded are a bitter reality in Ukraine. In Poland, Ukraine’s neighbor, however, training for war has become an increasingly popular leisure activity for children and young people over the past few years. Being obedient, marching, and standing at attention are “virtues” that are clearly on the rise since the conservative Law and Justice party came to power. In special camps and classes the adolescents are trained for emergencies and indoctrinated in patriotism and militarism. Being prepared for enemy attacks should always be the job of a professional army and not be instrumentalized as an object of youthful thirst for adventure. Natalia Kepesz’s haunting and alarming images raise questions about the psychological consequences of war-playing children and about the cognizance of such misuse.