Simple and Sacred

©Karyna Aslanova

Water. Connection. Quiet. Truth. Photographer Karyna Aslanova’s “New Ukrainian Values” series explores the simple things Ukrainians now perceive as sacred during the Russia-Ukraine War. Aslanova lives in the United Kingdom but was born and raised in Kyiv and is in daily contact with her father, who remains there. “My mindset and being are so deeply rooted there,” she says.

“The war has made Ukrainians reassess what they hold closest, and I wanted to explore this through these images,” she explains. To prepare for the series, she went online to ask Ukrainians, “What is valuable for you now?” Based on their answers, she began doodling, gathering props, installing sets, and making images. “The idea was to combine simple truths, which have become so sacred, with mysterious and imaginative religious ceremonies.”

What others take for granted Ukrainians now see as divine. Each image is “a simple still life that speaks loud,” she says.