Crimea, or the Crimean Peninsula, is known as a natural diamond for its boundless steppe and deep canyons, sandy beaches and warm sea, undulating hills and forested mountains, beautiful palaces and exotic castles, fabled cave cities and picturesque fortresses. Due to its strategically important location on the Black Sea, Crimea is also known for its complicated and embattled history. Over the centuries it has been a golden trophy for various outside forces. Cimmerians, Greeks, Romans, Goths, Huns, Tatars, Russians and Ukrainians among many others left their traces on its territory.
The world also knows Crimea for the bloody Crimean War between Russia and an alliance of the Ottoman Republic, Great Britain and France in the 19th century and for the 1945 Yalta Conference, where Soviet Premier Josef Stalin, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and a British Prime Minister Winston Churchill sealed the postwar division of Europe.
In March 2014, after the majority of the local population voted to join Russia, the Crimean Peninsula once again became the focus of the deepest East-West crisis since the Cold War.
An unprecedented information war over Crimea broke out. Both sides are accused of half-truths, distortions and direct lies when covering the events in this part of the world.
For this reason, a group of renowned photojournalists represented by the world’s leading documentary agencies - Magnum Photos, VII and NOOR - teamed up to launch a documentary photography project in Crimea, which sets out to rediscover the peninsula and the life of its people beyond ideological barriers.
The photographers were thrilled to see and represent all the aspects of life in Crimea. They focused on reunification of supporters and opponents, skeptics and enthusiasts. They were interested in Russians, Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars, Jews and the full diversity of Crimea. They visited the army, police and paramilitary units. They documented the everyday lives of families, adults and children. They followed politics and the economy, civic and social activities. They looked back at the rich history.