Storyboard v2.0 of doc on the wall of my flat in Kiev. Not only digital, sometimes analog is better choice. Work in progress… I know it takes a long time, but it is independent productions. For me it’s not only documenatry movie, but first of all a philosophical journey into the depths of me.
July/2015 -Donbass / Kramatorsk / Ukraine. Not only war!
The picture is only one part of the whole reportage. Kramatorsk has been occupied by the insurgent troops until 5th of June 2014 for three months.
Today, despite the proximity to the main military line, there is relative peacefull and that is where most of the war correspondents has its base while being on the Donbass. In July, I met and became friends with three nice local residents with their own war history. They allowed me to relax and enjoy the beauty of Ukraine and to discover a different side of War, which became part of Ukraine, permanently.
The history of my research in Ukraine come to a full metaphorical circle.
I remember when, in April of 2015, during a first trip to Kiev from Warsaw Western Station, I prepared short material about the perception of Polish people about Ukrainians and their economic migration to Poland. It’s beautiful. Now that I have to finish my document, I must look for help in London. Despite the fact that there is no war in my country, I have a private war in which the battle is about the end of the film in a completely independent means (despite support offered from various foundations that I did not accept). Therefore I must temporarily emigrate to some project to England to get the finances to complete the film and repay the debts.
Keep fingers crossed! The war is still on!
The reportage was downloaded from Luhansk24TV youtube channel before it was removed by the station’s network. Unfortunately, I downloaded it without sound. When I found it out and tried to fix it, it was already too late. Video went offline. I apologise for that.
However, the subject is serious! Therefore, I uploaded it even without the sound, as a warning to others! After almost a full day of hearing of us, firstly in the LRN block-post by 2 nervous soldiers, secondly by the security services of LRN at their headquarters, we were released. Already being outside of main their headquarters in Luhansk, Luhansk24 TV made the first material to the television with us. Few days later, agents called us and explained that the video was not recorded well and we need to record it again. We did it, although we felt that they try to use us for their own purposes. Few days later, the agents called again. They said that we need to record once again (3rd). This time the recording has been done at the headquarters of the security services in Lugansk. The questions were asked not by journalists like before, but by the agents. They were trying to provoke us by asking the questions that would show the Ukrainian side in bad light. We knew that we are being used, but we had no choice so we had to answer the questions. To our surprise, even though we tried not to talk about anything important (like about a politics, we just only tried told about idea of documentary movie which we were trying to make) they have managed to create that masterpiece propaganda reportage. They have cut the sentences and constructed different context of our statements.
The outcome was a shocking, even for us, after seeing it for the first time. Most of our comments have been manipulated, and adapted to LRN point of view. They have created a material which support the LRN and condemn Ukraine. Not true! I had to intervene. I wrote comments under the video explaining that this video is a manipulation. They were afraid and agreed to delete the video if I delete a my post about this incident from facebook. I was on the territory of LRN so I agreed. They also gave me a word that they will submit a report without propaganda, which they never did.
Be careful what you watch and read! Read various sources! Ask questions! Propaganda is being made every day, everywhere (of course not only in LRN).
4.5 months in the Donbas, 80 hours of stuff. A lot of stress, sacrifice and tears. Hundreds of wonderful people who I met on my way. Hundreds of cigarettes smoked and litters of coffee drunk. I’ve finished my work, but there is still a moment in Ukraine to work on translations and music. Thank you all for your support, without you there would not be anything. I leave but the horror of war will stay… unfair
THX FOR SUPPORT!
Announcing the documentary “Black coffee stirred with Kalashinkov”.
Yesterday I was crossing the border between the DNR, and Ukraine this time I was checked by the Security Service of Ukraine. They asked why I was in DNR and what I was doing there.They was checking the laptop etc. When I was passing block- post bound my eyes that I wouldn’t know their current position , they didn’t trust me . After several minutes of interrogation (interview), they let go and drove to Artimovska.
I returned to Ukraine to Severodonetsk , meet up with friends from the Ukrainian channel ZiK TV, with whom I had the pleasure to travel a little for the Donbas. This guys run one of the best program in the Ukraine TV about the situation at the front. I lent them equipment for filming and through contact acquired in Krymsie. I want to visit the people and Battalion 24 of Ukrainian Army (Lviv battalion), where now it is difficult situation .There are ongoing now have intensive exchange of fire and shootings. Very dangerous I wanna spends a few days there.
Lots of people have sent me messages, asking how it really looks here therefore, I’ve decided to make a small summary of my stay in Donbass so far.
I started from zero. The whole concept was performed in my own head, starting with the idea, the technical facilities, contacts and finishing with project funding. Although few people has offered to help, I ended up, as always, that I could only count on myself (with few exceptions). So well, I am in a very good and comfortable position for me. I’ve learned to live as a “one man orchestra”. And I feel that only such people are able to do something here, or maybe even in life in general. It is convenient for me. I’m not dependent on anyone, so also don’t hurt anyone and it’s my damn fit. I’m doing my things the, best I can. Throughout the laboriously collected contacts, going through the various rungs of initiation, wiping out about conspiracies and espionage methods, I understood quickly that there is a war here and the trust must be earned as nowhere else. No one will share with you any information before you are proven and trusted. Without contacts and unselfish affection, you are not going to do anything in this area, especially when neither big money nor global mass media stand behind your back.
All this work, that is hard to be discovered from the documentation at the first glance, is in Ukraine the key to everything. Journalists who are counting only on the magical “piece of paper” with the word ACCREDITATION, will not even get to the tip of the situation, and not relishing any “truth”. Unfortunately, most of journalists belong to this group, and they are the ones that give you the “daily information”. Good luck. Brain wash and good night. I will not hide that I know my potential to win over people around me and it helps me at work. What helps as well is the fact that I am from “Poland” – all soldiers at the block-posts were at “saksy” in Poland and they warmly remind this stay. Nice. They always respect my origin, respect Poland. At the beginning it was even a little strange – because in Poland, they always tell us that it is not good to be Pole anymore. We are a damn onion (polish org.:”Cebulak”). It was the first safety lamp, which caught fire and unfreeze other neurons. Learning the world from scratch. Damn, beautiful. Despite all this affection, I needed to devote a large part of my liver. I was drinking a lot of vodka with the soldiers. For Slavs it seems to be the easiest way to find an universal language that allows them to open. See DIY: Do not trust anyone who refuses to drink vodka with you.
At every step I was faced with incredible kindness, both from the Ukrainian, as well as from the separatists side. I have quickly realized, with my own heart, that people from both sides are the same. Something that seems to be a truism. In today’s world, stained by media’s propaganda, it was not obvious – you need to dig out and dust from the accretions of information. To reset and to program from the beginning, according to your own rules. To discovered what seemed to be obvious, from the point of view of human thinking. Don’t kid yourself, propaganda is present on both sides, alternately antagonize the population. They unleash the dogs with muzzles and bark, bite, sometimes to death. I was a participant myself crafted by propaganda (together with Ania Wozniak in the LRN., I saw with my own eyes propaganda sms, sent in Donbas with the stylized “private” telling how the other side is bad. I read the news from the world media about Donbass, and then confront them with my own picture. And what? Bullshit! I have listened, I have talked, I have seen with my own eyes, including the things that I would not like to see. Everything from me to depresed, for the first time, the thoughts wanted to kill me and every encountered here image sharpened to pull the wool over my last naivety in looking at the world and its assessment. And you Poles, you don’t like the Russians, do you? And actually, why? Consider carefully, for it next time you use the TV remote control.
What’s going on here? I will not discover golden mountains for you. You must think yourself. With all due respect for these soldiers, patriots, ordinary Ukrainian cordial “Mr./Ms. Kowalski” that I met and whom I much respect. War is “dzięgi” (ukrainians lang, ang. money) and those at the “top” know it. It’s about money, it’s about career, it’s about selfishness, it’s about power. In the LRN, I asked one of the Russian journalist from Moscow, currently living in LRN and work for Luhansk24 station, “Why did you really came here?”. And you know what he has replied? That in Moscow, he was none, and now, in the LRL, he can build the structure of the new state. He may be someone important and he can influence the course of events in the surrounding world. Here you go, human selfishness. I spoke with the LRN soldiers, for whom war is a “fun” (sic!), without which they can’t live. It’s their lifestyle, “passion”, like any other human passion, eg. collecting stamps. I met Ukrainian soldiers, straight warriors, who emotionally told Ukrainian generals as their use for his own purposes – to make money in the war. They realize that they are only pawns in this game. In spite of everything, they want to fight, they think about themselves as great patriots.
And basically they are dying for something other than they seemed at first. I saw drunk soldiers from battalion “Aidar” at every step fucking everything that moves. I saw the Ukrainian Cossacks, who are penniless and were going on foot to Donbas. I saw civilians at the front, which only want to live in dignity, on the land of their fathers. In any event, they don’t intend to leave, despite the fact that during our brief conversation, shots were fired from hail just become natural commas in the sentences. I saw the man from Dolbaczew, who lost his house for 3 million hryvnia ($150.000) and moved to Kharkov, where he earns 4,000 hryvnia ($250) – of which 2,000 hryvnia pay for renting a room. Ukrainian state has forgotten about him. I saw local hipsters in Kiev, who have been drinking tequila for 120 hryvnia ($8), in a trendy club until stylized throats. Contrasts everywhere! These contrasts wake you up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat with blocked urethra, when you have an emergency to use the toilet.
All previous cases observed by me, has built me a picture of the true face and condition of the world . We have been deceived and cheated. War is only for the elite group of very few world politicians, who handled by their own interests. The rest is just shrapnel grenade thrown by them. Striking at anyone who will act against their will, the bitter taste of war. It chews them and spits, orphaned and unwanted. We all have it in the ass. Apparently truism, I know. But what weeps whore in the eye the most is that those ordinary people spit on the past , trying to live on, repeating like a mantra: “And what do we, ordinary people can do about it .” I understand them, but apparently I was spoiled in the “free” Europe and by the end I do not loo see hope...
How do I get it all right? Aside from the War. I’m nothing and I am, aware of that. As it was nicely stated by a friend of mine, Vice-Minister of Information and newspaper of the LRN, Taras. During the event, when one of the agents of secret service forbid me to film, I was told “Sorry dude, but it’s not your show.” I have no longer the conservative thought “don’t be cheeky”, don’t post it. Yes, I publish ironic, short films, with the awareness of a possible wave of critics that I promote myself on the war. Well, probably a little bit yes, I will not cheat, I found myself here. It uses entirely, every inch of my potential. I also realize myself, selfishly I know, I’m fully aware of that. But I am also aware that while doing that, I’m able to speak out loud about issues that apply to the entire community of the World. Although they will deny and tell it is not their war. Afterwards, they go to the shopping mall to buy Chinese shoes. Such Lemmings, you know, you cannot change that.
So I doing my “dzięgi” (selfish things) on War, yes, worth of condemnation. And despite the situation, I’m happy with that. I just dream about being a part of a pyramid, which will lead to the rebirth of a mankind. Maybe I’m just another small cog in changing the mentality of people in the world. Maybe my person will contribute to inspire 3-4 others who in turn inspire the next. And you know how the pyramid works, it will grow with a snail’s pace, but patience. Yes, moreover a romantic. And I wish to stay that way.