Location: Ex-Cavallerizza, Piazzale Giuseppe Verdi
GRAY ZONE — VALERY MELNIKOV
The first time I’ve visited the Donbass region was at the beginning of Summer 2014, right at the start of the military conflict. Nobody knew at that time how long this conflict would last, and how difficult and painful the consequences of this conflict would be.
People of Donbass truly hoped the war would end quickly, and peace would come back to their long-suffering land. Three years went by. The active phase of the conflict is now over, but there is no peace yet. With this war, the hearts of the people were filled with uncertainty, despair and complete lack of hope. Along the contact line of the fighting sides, was created a so called “Gray Zone”. This is the name used for the territories without a specific status, with no official government or law enforcement. There are no operating hospitals or schools there, and there is no work, people are in constant danger. This long lasting conflict and the uncertain future turned the entire Donbass region into a “Gray Zone” , a territory without any clear boundaries of space and time. The “Gray Zone” is not only a territory, a piece of land, it’s the feeling of being completely immersed in the darkness of the unknown in the face of war. This is the state of existential loneliness of a person who has lost all hope…