Live Not on Evil
This series features female soldiers from both sides of the War in Donbas.
The concept of female soldiers is rather controversial in Ukraine due to old-fashion gender roles and the general attitude that war is "men's business". An example is that it was illegal for women to engage in combat in Ukraine until June 2016, so those who wished to do so had to join volunteer battalions linked to the far-right. Regardless of technicalities -- the status of the war, who started it, the deeply personal reasons behind choosing a side, or corruption in the army -- both sides are caught in a state of turmoil. There is no clear end in sight and most forms of life near the contact line have fled or were destroyed, but there still are some brave women there, often standing alone in a sea of men, fighting (or at least trying to) for their territory. Being "female" is the antithesis of war, and many may be disgraced for doing society's definition of "unwomanly" work. In a country where women are famous for being beautiful, female soldiers are forced to be male.
I think of these women as a Palindrome, which is reflected in the title of this work. They take different shapes and forms, they wear different insignias, they choose different sides -- but their experiences are all very similar. Many of them have lost a lot, most of them have experienced and overcome extreme fear, and all of them are seeking some kind of relief from a situation that more closely resembles hell than a home. Due to the misrepresentation women face in the media, I believe they deserve some attention -- especially in light of soviet style propaganda used to either make women seem extremely vulnerable, or, over-sexed, with the intention of recruiting men into the army. Some of our biggest historical guides are films, and how many have you seen where a woman is cast only to serve as a love interest for male soldiers?