Hanna Hrabarska (35)… on the run with her mother Iryna (69)
I don’t give any promises to people in life in general and I think, it’s very important to be honest… But when I had to convince my mother to leave Ukraine with me, I had to become a bit evil… I said: “If we stay and I die, it’s you to blame!” I went through some shit in life, but the only thing I would have never forgiven myself, if I had left her. I could never smile again… Every day now, my mum calls her friends, who stayed home and she insists: “I want to go back!”
I have an older brother. He stayed.
My photography studio is in the city center in Kyiv, near Lvivska Square. It’s an historical center of ancient times. The small studio had this huge, long balcony – not luxurious, but modern urbanistic and the view was fantastic! The place underneath was also a transportation hub with many busses passing by. I love to just sit there and watch life going by: In the mornings, you could witness how the city was calm. You could see Kiev slowly waking up, hear the busses going by. On weekday evenings, strolling people spoke up – I remember this one crazy person living nearby and he always screamed funny things… I was just sitting there with my friends and guests, some great minds, very thoughtful, interesting people.
I realize, Ukraine is a place, that I really love. There are moments such as the evenings on rooftops or walking around the city all night, that I am not able to do again. That’s very painful.
Interview Sandy Bossier-Steuerwald / Photo © Hanna Hrabarska