Special Mention Short Story 2024 | Laetitia Vançon (eng)

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Special Mention Short Story Award 2024Laetitia Vançon
The Other Battlefields

This work delves into the enduring aftermath of war on Ukrainian youth, offering a glimpse into the reality of being young in Ukraine nearly two years into the conflict. Typically, the years of young adulthood signify a time of expanding horizons, making friends, and embarking on adventures. However, for many young Ukrainians, the war with Russia has shattered these expectations, replacing them with danger, death, depression, and dislocation. Within this visual narrative, shattered lives and dimmed dreams unfold, with hopes resiliently resisting the surrounding darkness. Each image serves as a fragment, an individual story interwoven into a broader mosaic, reflecting the diverse realities and aspirations emerging in this scarred nation. In June 2022, in Odessa, the realization of the war’s profound impact on the new generation struck the photographer as young graduates staged an artistic performance to transcend the deprivation of not being able to celebrate their end-of-year graduation ceremony. This underscored the crucial need to document this pivotal era for posterity. Among these narratives, visible scars serve as evident reminders, but beneath the surface, concealed struggles, both physical and mental, are also unveiled. These battles, though not unfolding on traditional battlefields, symbolize profound inner conflicts. They embody the ongoing fight for freedom, dignity, the pursuit of regained normalcy, and the belief in a promising future. Collectively, these stories encapsulate the enduring impact of the prolonged war on the youth in Ukraine, revealing multiple and lasting consequences woven into the fabric of their lives.

Copyright photos: © Laetitia Vançon

Laetitia Vancon was born in Toulouse, France. In 2003, after completing her studies as a Chemical Engineer she spent 6 years working in France and South Africa in a chemical firm manufacturing artificial flavor enhancers. But this career wasn’t fulfilling for her. In 2009, she gave up her career, and while travelling throughout Australia and South East Asia, used photography to help her reconnect with herself and her environment. In 2014, Vancon completed her studies at the Danish Photojournalism School in Aarhus, specializing in Visual Storytelling. In November 2012, she received an award in Creative Journalism for her project “The Time goes by, Bruno stays” by Emaho Magazine. “The Top Will Fall” was selected for the Sony World Photography Awards 2014, and she was shortlisted for the Royal Photographic Society International Print Exhibition. Her latest documentary “My Home, My Prison” was selected as a favorite by l’ANI, at Visa pour l’Image, in September 2014. A frequent contributor to the New York Times, her work has been featured in Vanity Fair, National Geographic, Geo Magazine, and Spiegel, among others.


Lodi, Palazzo Barni, C.so Vittorio Emanuele II, 17


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