Creative Brief: Dana Pavlychko, Saliut magazine

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The second issue of Kyiv-based photography newspaper Saliut came out a few weeks just before Russian troops invaded Ukraine. Here, the magazine’s director Dana Pavlychko tells the story

  Kyiv-based digital photography magazine Saliut released its second issue just a few weeks before Russian troops invaded Ukraine. As the country faced extreme turmoil and destruction, the new publication portrayed an extremely different period in its history.

Themed around the 1990s, the issue explores the uncertainness and hardships faced with a newly independent Ukraine since seven decades of Soviet rule came to an end, with images of Chernobyl by Yuri Kosin and portraits of homeless children from Oleksandr Glyadelov. It’s also a celebration of the creativity that prospered during that era and its effect on photographers today.  

At the rear of the biannual publication is definitely Osnovy, a publishing house run by director Dana Pavlychko. Her mother established the business in the early 90s, and Pavlychko took over 12 years ago. She has since transformed Osnovy into a contemporary business focused on supporting Ukraine’s most up-to-date creative talent.

There is no benefits behind the name Saliut?
Saliut will be the name of a camera which was made in Kyiv during the Soviet era. But the word provides other meanings too. The particular Saliut hotel is one of Kyiv’s most iconic modernist buildings, and the word also means fireworks in Ukrainian. We thought the combination of each one of these meanings made it a fitting title.

What did a person learn from putting together the issues?
The main thing it taught us is that we really enjoy making magazines. Using a magazine, you can delve heavy into a particular topic, plus evolve with each concern you make. It’s not a set form like a book. You are able to experiment indefinitely with each issue. Nadiia Chervinska will be Saliut’s editor-in-chief and she works with a team of four, including a guest editor that will changes with each edition. For the new issue, all of us chose Halyna Hleba, an art historian. She knew exactly which photographers we should get in touch with.

Why did you choose a 90s theme for the most recent issue?
Everyone’s looking back to that will era in terms of aesthetics, and i believe what was happening in 90s Ukraine was very cool. The country was producing some top photographers during that time who have been making work that was different to what was emerging in Europe and North America. We desired to show readers something they hadn’t seen before, along with showcasing the work of contemporary professional photographers who are inspired by that will era. Last year, Ukraine also celebrated three decades of self-reliance and this milestone made it a good time to look back.  

The second issue experienced two cover images. Just how did you choose them?
We wanted to use two very different pictures and as soon as Arsen Savadov agreed to have his pictures in the magazine, we knew we had to put a single on the cover. The image all of us went for was extracted from a 1997 fashion take that took place in a graveyard. The models are posing next to floral wreaths like a coffin is lowered to the ground. The other is a black-and-white image taken by Valeriy Miloserdov of the 1998 miners’ strike when thousands of workers marched from western Donbas to Kyiv to demand the particular pay they were owed.  

How can people get hold of Saliut?
They can buy it from our web site and we will ship the issues when the war is over. We know we are going to win. Supporting Ukrainian company is very important because most activity came to a brutal cease after the Russian invasion. Ukrainians need support during these tough times. Many people have not only lost their jobs, however homes and loved ones. With worldwide support, Ukrainians can certainly still fight Russia and win.

Hester Underhill

Hester Underhill is a freelancer writer from Oxford currently based in Barcelona. She managed to graduate from The University of Bristol in 2017 with an education in French and The german language and prior to moving in order to Spain she was working at Monocle magazine in London as an assistant editor.

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