Cemre Yeşil Gönenli (TR) “HAYAL & HAKIKAT” - Helphoto 2022




Trust in Peace
The project Trust in Peace depicts people of Syria, the country that has been torn apart by destructive and violent conflict since 2011, and how they all do their best to come back to peaceful life. Photographer Anton Ivanov had numerous conversations with local citizens; both those whose fates were disfigured by a lasting military conflict and those who were lucky enough to escape, but still had to face destructive ramifications of war. However, the photographer saw something more than just tragedy in Syrian people, whether it was a disabled sapper from Scalbia or a girl named Sidra from Aleppo, who has to walk on prosthetics. This terrible disaster is hard to ignore or hide. It may seem surprising what photographers see in these people and, what is more, they fix on the film the very powerful feeling of hope for their possible return to peaceful life. During his visit to Syria in September 2019, Ivan visited places that were just recently the centre of military conflict as well as areas that, fortunately, have not been touched by the war. He made a number of black and white analog film shots with a Hasselblad camera in Scalbia, Hama, Aleppo, Homs, Sednayah, Maaloula, fully destroyed during the war city of Kornaz and in Damascus, its suburbs as well as other parts of Syria. The name for the project Trust in Peace was not created from the very beginning, but only after the first shots were printed and first impressions from the visit settled. The title was influenced by fragmented impressions from numerous meetings and conversations with simple Syrians, the majority of whom were not broken and have not yet lost their faith in humanity. These people have not given up their own destiny and look into the future with hope. This project will not only preserve the unbelievable fragility of the surrounding order of things, that can be destroyed in one minute, but will also represent those people that have faced such disasters and, despite all misfortunes and miseries, still keep a positive perspective for peaceful life.

Anton Ivanov has been producing black and white film photography for more than 15 years. He has participated in a number of exhibitions displaying analogue photography in Russia, Germany, France, Japan, USA and Italy. The artist is one of the founders of the Art of Foto project and runs an art gallery in St. Petersburg that carries the same name. Previously, the photographer participated in workshops on manual printing and toning with companies Heiland Electronic and Moersch Photochemie in Germany and in the master’s class Black and White Fine Art Printing by John Sexton in the USA. 

After developing his films, Anton manually prints black and white photographs on silver-gelatin baryta paper in the darkroom. In his opinion, this is the best way to convey the artistic value of his work, so that the viewer fully understands feelings and ideas that were with him at the time of shooting. Anton’s photo expeditions include: Journey to Russia in 2013 and Disappearing Tribes in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea in 2017. The artist climbed the Elbrus mount with the flag of the Art of Foto gallery and a large format film camera (13×18 cm) already twice in his lifetime. The result of these photo expeditions was a personal exhibition Elbrus, Two Peaks curated in 2019.

Anton Ivanov (RU) "Trust in Peace" - Helphoto 2020
Anton Ivanov (RU) "Trust in Peace" - Helphoto 2020