Dean O'Brien's Blog

Mariupol – My Work Continues

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Mariupol was worth the trip.  Worth the 18 hour train ride.  Worth the trolling many of my blog posts and tweets received.  It made me realise that many can’t handle the truth about the war and what is actually happening in the east of Ukraine.

I left it a little too late to apply for official accreditation to gain access to the ATO zone, although not having this brought it’s own rewards.  It steered me towards other individuals and organisations that I otherwise never would have met. And like the old saying goes ‘Sometimes even the wrong train takes you to the right station’.

It was an incredible experience meeting those on the edge of the conflict.  To talk about how it’s affecting them.  And best of all, being able to document this without any constraints.  The stories of families spilt between the government and non-government held territories were plenty and this is something I’d like to explore further.  That was a huge reason for me coming here.  I simply didn’t know what to believe and only by travelling here could I see for myself and document what life’s like here.

I used to think that to work in areas such this you’d be better working for a large media company or newspaper as I presumed they would carry some weight, open some doors, but I’ve soon come to realise that in places such as this it has the opposite affect.  Nobody here wants to talk to ‘official’ journalists or photographers.  They simply don’t trust them.  The idea that you work for any form of paymaster is a no-go.

There’s no doubt that being freelance gives you true freedom.  Nobody to control where you go, who you speak to, what questions you ask and what you post.  I’ll be back in the east of Ukraine shortly where my work will continue.

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Written by Dean O'Brien

October 3, 2017 at 12:18 pm

Posted in Mariupol, Ukraine

Tagged with ,

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