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Save the Children Ukraine

Video production and photography on location in Ukraine, post production and editing in the UK. August 2021.


This project was completed before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. However, the voices of the young people in these videos, who experienced war in Eastern Ukraine from 2014 onwards, are perhaps even more relevant now.

The videos and photographs were produced for the Abuja Conference, the 4th International Conference on the Safe Schools Declaration, held in Nigeria and online on 25–27 October 2021.

Unsaid was commissioned to produce photographs and videos on location in Eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk regions in 2021. Mats travelled with staff from the Save the Children teams in Kyiv and Sloviansk. In the videos, children living along the contact line – the de facto cease fire line – in Eastern Ukraine speak about their experience of studying and growing up during the conflict; and about the importance of education, especially during conflict. Post-production was done in the UK, in close collaboration with Save the Children.

the english edition of the main video.


Growing up along the frontline

The violent conflict in Eastern Ukraine changed the lives of thousands of children. In these videos we meet Anna*, Eva*, Marta* and Tatiana*, who all grew up during the conflict that started in 2014.

“Everybody thought that it’d take a couple of months, and soon after everything would be alright again.”

Eva, 15

photographs for a virtual gallery exhibition in mariupol.


Photography exhibition in Mariupol

Portraits of the young people interviewed were part of a virtual gallery exhibition that was filmed in the old water tower in Mariupol in Eastern Ukraine.

social media videos.


Individual stories for social media

Specifically for social media use, we produced shorter videos with Eva*, Tatiana* and Anna*, highlighting the importance of the Safe Schools Declaration.

Tatiana*, 18, lives close to the contact line in Eastern Ukraine. She grew up during the height of the armed conflict. Going to school was difficult, since shelling was frequent and teaching had stop while the children all sat in the corridor, away from glass windows and mirrors.

“As a child I couldn’t change anything. I didn’t understand why it all started.”

Tatiana*, 18 years old

Save the Children met Anna*, now 17, in 2018 and filmed her and a friend during artillery shelling. In 2021 she was hopeful, but also realistic about the possible positive impact of the Safe Schools Declaration.

Eva*, 15, also lives close to the contact line. She highlights the positive role of school and education, and how important it is, especially in times of conflict.


*Names have been changed to protect the young people’s identities.

other unsaid projects.