When I thought about the difference between «masculine» and «feminine» in the context of war, I thought of such opposite concepts as “preservation” and “destruction”, which are stereotypically attached to each of the sexes. Flowers, which women's hands try to preserve and men's hands try to destroy, became the main characters of my photos. Of course, this is a generalization, but one way or another, our world has become black and white, and this clear division is observed in many aspects of life. For me personally, war as a phenomenon has always been incomprehensible and paradoxical. But all this leads to only one goal — life must win.

«In her photo series, Maryna Shtanko shows how the binary oppositions of creation-destruction and life-death are archetypically assigned to the female or male gender. Historically, women were attributed the role of giving birth and raising children, i.e. the creation of life and its preservation; at the same time, men were mostly warriors, i.e. those who take life away. The artist illustrates this gender dichotomy through the botanical metaphor of interacting with a flower. War in the 21st century no longer functions according to these historical paradigms — women serve with men in the military and men participate in childcare. Yet archetypal models still dictate social and legal norms  — men are conscripted, women are civilians».
Iryna Kurganska

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