Balkanist Presents: A State of War

A State of War follows two Ukrainian marines over the course of one year as they serve, live and fight in the shadow of Shyrokyne, a ruined seaside resort town in Donetsk Oblast. Elena, 23, is a combat medic, one of the few women on the front, and a volunteer who has found purpose and identity through the war. Viktor, 35, was conscripted and served as a frontline commander. Now, retired from the army, he struggles to find work and to come to terms with the death of a young man under his command. Together, the unique and contradictory experiences of Elena and Viktor form the singular story of a society changed by three years of war.


Watch Balkanist‘s first short documentary, by director Christopher Bobyn.

Producer: Lily Lynch

With additional post-production consulting credit to Nick A. Cohen.



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Christopher Bobyn

Canadian-born documentary photographer Christopher Bobyn grew up in Montreal and received his BA in Film Studies from Queen’s University before devoting himself to photojournalism and uprooting to Europe. Christopher’s extensive documentary photography has been inspired by the desire to document the evolving human landscape resulting from conflict, immigration, revolution and poverty. Christopher’s previous work has had him extensively document the aftermath of conflict in the former-Yugoslavia, as well as work on Syrian refugees in Turkey and recent geo-political events in Egypt, the West Bank, and Ukraine. Christopher lives and works in Berlin, Germany.