March 11, 2014

7 Reasons Why Donald Weber’s Kiev Molotov Cocktail Portraits are That Effective

Weber molotov VICE Kiev 1

1. It may have been done before, but I haven’t seen it.

2. I suppose any kind of bottle can be used, but each pic in the edit is alcohol — hence, that eternal satisfaction: putting a face to a name.

3. The sticks, the rags, the wire. What the photos drive home about Maidan, each its own signature, is that the rage against the machine was home brewed.

4. At once dirty and pretty, an achievement here (in comparison to so much other war photography) is that these don’t glamorize.

5. After the orgy of fire in the news stream, these do the same without so much as a matchstick.

6. They’re art. They’re documentary. They’re also news-y. They’re cool and they’re not cool. More than anything, they’re interesting. Point is, if the culture and buzz sites (like VICE) are breaking all the rules, it’s also expanding the paradigm of photojournalism.

7. I’m sure you sensed this if it didn’t strike you consciously…. These objects look like people.

Weber molotov VICE Kiev 2

See the post and the larger set at VICE.

(photos: Donald Weber/VII for VICE)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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