Burlington-based photographer returns from Ukraine

BURLINGTON, Vermont (WCAX) – Burlington-based photographer James Buck has just returned from Ukraine, where he worked with the humanitarian aid group Project Hope. On Wednesday, he shared his photos with a handful of people at Burlington City Arts.

Buck says that by sharing his photos, he hopes people will look beyond their daily lives and connect with those who are hurting right now. “There’s something really heartbreaking about being in a country at war,” Buck explained. “People are both alive, but not really alive.”

He spent his time in Ukraine photographing hospitals, patients and his eventual departure. Buck mainly took pictures in a transplant hospital in Lviv. “Life goes on, but things are closed,” Buck said. “An organ transplant cannot wait until the war is over. The donor is ready. The recipient is ready or people will die.

Buck’s work primarily focuses on humanitarian efforts. The purpose of documenting them is to give these tragedies a face, a name and a story, thus helping people far away to better understand these situations.

“It’s really interesting, life goes on,” said BCA board member Milton Rosa-Tiz. “We tend to think that when war breaks out everything stops and people leave the country, but the reality is that the majority of people stay.”

Buck says getting to Ukraine was difficult, but leaving was even harder. “At the border, women and children were separated from men because they had to stay because of the war,” he said. “These men are sort of clinging to the chain-link fence, watching their families walk away crying, families just being torn apart.”

Although these photos are difficult to obtain, Buck says they have an important role to play in how people view the war. “My hope is that documenting what’s going on gives people a window into other people’s lives and allows people to care from a distance,” he said.

Burlington City Arts is expected to post Buck’s full presentation online in the coming days.

Copyright 2022 WCAX. All rights reserved.

About Wesley Williamson

Check Also

Photographer captures shock as marchers face post-Roe world

After a leaked draft opinion revealed the Supreme Court’s apparent intention to strike down deer …