The “Rise up, Ukraine!” demonstrations which had started in May were beginning to shake the capital when Daniel King photographed a defining moment for the country and its emerging youth. The sudden and almost invisible awakening of adulthood in the adolescents he photographed coincided with a movement of underground rebellion within the city.
Weeks were spent documenting the architecture of the city and the remains of the Communist era. He met teenagers in the streets and then encountered them by the lakes or for drinks in the public parks, all the while establishing bonds that would ultimately lead them to share a house.
He unveiled the patterns of their daily life together, one which was strangely unaltered by the political events taking place just a couple of blocks away from their gathering places. Through them, he experienced the state of consciousness universal to every teenager – the capacity to transcends the physical, block life’s noise, and dive deep into the emotions of a changing mind and body. The empty buildings, deserted canals, and abandoned children’s playgrounds are real yet they abstractly represent this frame of mind.
Through his images of the city, its landscape, and the young adults living in it, Daniel King has gifted us with something powerful that we didn’t see in the news: what it was like to grow up in Ukraine for a generation living its last moments of carelessness.