Dean O'Brien's Blog

352mc Professional Photographic Practice: Euro 2012 and why I’m against it

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It’s no secret that I’m not a lover of the ‘great game’.  That could be down to have an absent father for most of my life or just the fact that I have never bought into the football thing as a whole.  However, travel and photography are my two great passions.

When I started my project in the Ukraine a while back I came across the demonstrations against the jailing of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.  She is not the first opposition leader to be jailed by current Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and probably won’t be the last.

Now Ukraine is to co-host the forthcoming Euro 2012 football tournament.  This is a golden opportunity for the people of Ukraine to highlight the problems that they, the ‘normal’ people face on a day to day basis.  Recent newspaper reports have stated that Ukraine could be heading for a dictatorship unless things start to change rapidly.

Newspapers such as Kyiv Post are a prime example of how Ukraine’s news ‘should’ be reported.  Never a paper to hold back on exposing corruption or sitting on the fence where sensitive issues are concerned, they constantly question the problems in this often complicated country.

Years ago, Governments of countries such as Ukraine liked to keep their troubles ‘in house’.  However, we all know from looking at Libya, Syria, Egypt etc.. that this can no longer be done.  Social media has proved to be the skeleton key that the downtrodden have yearned for.  Allowing them to have their say for a change.

So what can I do as a Western photographer? Apart from documenting marriage agencies in Ukraine I’m going to start to look at the deeper social issues which affect Ukrainians.  To blog and use social media to highlight the issues in question.

Anyway, short of something to wear this season I decided to purchase this rather fetching Ukrainian football shirt which will be being worn by many at this years event.  Having ‘Tymoshenko’ added to the reverse of the shirt with the number ‘7’ (which symbolises the 7 year sentence which she is serving) is my own personal way of protesting.  A small step I know….

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Written by Dean O'Brien

May 20, 2012 at 4:11 pm

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