Jérôme Sessini’s photographs of Ukraine’s uprising are not nice, they are appropriate and necessary. They rightly question the horror, violence, and hypocrisy that characterize six years of wars at the gates of Europe. Inner Disorder gathers photographs and text of both harshest moments and low times of a war paced by life, death, boredom, and silence. The proximity of the events leaves no respite to the reader as the familiarity of the faces blatantly illustrates the banality of war. And yet, he reaches beyond the context to produce a universal message.
Jérôme Sessini’s new book, Inner Disorder, collates his work made in Ukraine over three years, tracing the Ukrainian uprising from the extreme violence of the latter stages of the Euromaidan protests in February 2014 to growing Russian nationalistic sentiment manifesting across the historically pro-European west of the country. As two republics emerged in the Donbas region, in the aftermath of the revolution in Kiev, Sessini mapped fighting that broke out between separatists and militias supporting Ukraine, traveling between the capital and the industrial cities of the east, documenting shell-ridden landscapes, and everyday life for civilians amid war. The book, available now from Editorial RM, combines Sessini’s photographs, video stills, and his diary notes from 2014 to 2017.
The result is a decidedly non-partisan portrait of a country devastatingly divided.
About the Author
Born 1968 French, based in Paris, France, Jérôme Sessini is one of the world’s most prolific and respected names working in the sensitive field of conflict zones and has been dispatched to war-torn countries like Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Libya for international publications. As well as reporting on the frontlines, he has covered social issues such as the drug-related violence on the streets of Mexico, the anti-government protests in Ukraine, and indigenous minorities in Cambodia facing forced eviction. Through his work, he is constantly learning, adapting, and evolving.
Since 2018, Sessini has been documenting the opioid crisis in the United States, where he has traveled to Ohio and Philadelphia to create intimate portraits of the people and places ravaged by drug misuse. In 2017, Sessini traveled to remote villages in Cambodia with Samrith Vaing, documenting the life of indigenous minorities facing forced eviction. In 2016, Sessini documented the Kurdish Peshmerga offensive against Islamic State (IS) in the city of Bashiq before crossing the region to cover Iraqi forces pushing towards Mosul.
His work has been published by prestigious newspapers and magazines, including Newsweek, Stern, Paris-Match as well as Le Monde and the Wall Street Journal. It has been shown in multiple solo exhibitions around the world including the Visa Photo Festival in Perpignan, at the Rencontres d’Arles, the Bibliothèque Nationale François-Mitterrand, as well as with the French Ministry of Culture.
Sessini became a Magnum Photos nominee in 2012 and a full member in 2016.