Julia Wimmerlin (UA) "Uncornered" - Helphoto 2023




Julia photographed Ukrainian women who fled from war in their temporary homes in Switzerland. Dressed the same as on the day they ran, each woman’s story of escape is depicted in her portraits. Each is photographed in a corner, a metaphor of the Russian invasion. Having passed through the worst experience in their lives, none feels cornered now. They do their best to adapt to a new culture, support their families and contribute to Ukraine’s victory.

Julia tried to imagine, if it was her, what would she pack: having no time, no space in the evacuation vehicle, and no idea if she’d ever see home again. Beyond the bare necessities, she asked each woman to show what she had packed. The results were often surprising, even to the women themselves. Each item became a symbol of their homes and their once peaceful lives.

These and millions of other Ukrainians had to redefine what freedom and courage are, starting February 24, 2022. As it turned out, most agree that the biggest freedoms of all are the ability to live in your own house, for your family and friends to be safe and to have the freedom to form your own opinion without the control of the neighboring state. Taken for granted before, these freedoms are now washed in blood and tears. But once they dry out, the most beautiful human connections are created with courage and compassion bringing new hope.

Julia Wimmerlin is a Ukrainian-born photographer currently living in La Côte region in Switzerland. After she left her native Kyiv, she lived in France, Switzerland, Great Britain, Japan, the Philippines, Spain and Hong Kong. Being mostly self-taught, Julia worked as a travel and portrait photographer enjoying a career as a commercial photographer. Her photographic core started to shake in 2021 with the travel ban during COVID-19 and got nearly crushed in 2022 with the beginning of the war in Ukraine. The collapse of her previous world and life brought her to contemporary art photography. The UNCORNERED series was exhibited in the Rotterdam Photo fair (2023) and had a solo exhibition in Kornhaus city library and Volkshochschule in Bern, Switzerland.


Julia Wimmerlin (UA) "Uncornered" - Helphoto 2023
Julia Wimmerlin (UA) "Uncornered" - Helphoto 2023