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Project: “The Pink Rider v3.0 – Humanitarian and Evacuation Mission in Eastern Ukraine during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “, 2023

Over the past eight years, I have focused my efforts on research and the creation of works in the realm of independent documentary cinema and journalism, delving into the socio-philosophical implications of the ongoing conflict in that region. Through a dedicated research methodology and innovative artistic techniques, I shape a narrative that explores the boundaries of absurdity coexisting with the tragic fate of these areas.

Promo video of project: “The PInk Rider v3.0”:

Beneath the guise of “The Pink Rider” lies a fictional alter ego, born from the absurd reality of the mentioned territories. Currently, this persona embodies that of a cyclist, psychologist, humanitarian activist, frontline evacuator, and documentarian.

Between October and November 2020, I initiated a project titled “The Pink Rider – The Line – Premortal Portraits of Eastern Ukrainian Residents”. Within this ambitious endeavor, I embarked on a unique bicycle journey along the 2020 front line, analyzing the socially designated “line of demarcation” separating Ukrainian territories from the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. The result of this project is a documentation of hundreds of portraits of the population inhabiting this conflict zone, which I later presented at international exhibitions and in Poland. The aim of this project was to raise awareness about the challenging situation of the residents in the front-line regions and the context of their lives along the “line of demarcation,” where they were excluded from Ukrainian society for years. This was during a time when the Russo-Ukrainian conflict remained overshadowed by the media.

Presently, I also attempt to trace the fates of the subjects of my portraits, continually pondering the destinies that befell them, some of whom currently reside in territories occupied during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Pre-mortal Portraits of inhabitants of the Russia-Ukraine war”,  Donetsk  and Lychansk region, Ukraine, 2020:

In 2023 – the present day, I am entering a new phase of this project, named “The Pink Rider project v3.0: Humanitarian and Evacuation Mission for Eastern Ukrainian Residents During the Russian Invasion of Ukraine – 2023”. This represents an evolution of the efforts initiated in 2020. In the current context, I am committed to providing coordinated support for the community residing in the front-line zone, faced with Russian aggression on Ukrainian soil.

My new project entails entering the conflict zone on a bicycle, establishing contact with residents, engaging in dialogue, and offering medical assistance when necessary. The analysis will encompass their mental well-being, material situation, and humanitarian dimension. An additional objective is to encourage residents to evacuate from the front-line areas. All acquired data will be properly mapped in collaboration with humanitarian organizations and front-line situation experts, with the entire project being coordinated with the data already possessed by these entities. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and the Ukrainian Press Center are informed about my project.

In recent weeks, I have been preparing for this project, expanding my knowledge in the fields of psychology, medicine.

Promo video of  “Pre-mortal Portraits of inhabitants of the Russia-Ukraine war”,  Donetsk  and Lychansk region, Ukraine, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023; Glasgow, Warsaw, Torun

n this context, the bicycle serves as a means of transportation that enables closer interaction with residents and a better understanding of their perspective. While a bicycle might appear an absurd mode of transport in a military zone to those unfamiliar with the realities of war, it holds a profound purpose. A bicycle presents a less obvious target compared to mechanical vehicles like cars in terms of potential attacks.

Exhibitiosn of  “Pre-mortal Portraits of inhabitants of the Russia-Ukraine war”,   2021, 2022, 2023; Glasgow, Warsaw, Torun:

My initiative has garnered the approval of the local community in eastern Ukraine, being perceived as substantive and constructive. All actions I undertake within the conflict area come with appropriate security measures, including wearing a helmet and bulletproof vest.

Promo video of  “Pre-mortal Portraits of inhabitants of the Russia-Ukraine war”,  Donetsk  and Lychansk region, Ukraine, 2020

The project draws inspiration primarily from my previous education as a geomorphologist and GIS designer, acquired during my studies at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń and AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków. This experience allows me to precisely analyze space and conduct meticulous field research to create sozological maps, illustrating protected areas and environmental hazard zones. I have conducted such mapping on a bicycle, affording me the opportunity for ground-level research meter by meter.
My longstanding interests in social sciences and psychology provide a foundation for my diligent work.

“Pre-mortal Portraits of inhabitants of the Russia-Ukraine war”,  Donetsk  and Lychansk region, Ukraine ,2022 – 2023; Sieverodonetsk, Łysychansk, Soledar, Bakhmut, Czasiv Yar

Within the front-line zone resides a community of hundreds of thousands of eastern Ukrainian residents who, for various reasons, choose not to abandon their homes. They risk their lives daily, becoming potential casualties of wartime actions. To truly appreciate their plight, one must invest time in understanding their experiences. Currently, a shortage of psychiatrists and psychologists exists in the front-line regions as these professionals avoid these hazardous areas. It is for this reason that I anticipate my research and project work will hold social and cultural value, serving as a significant source of genuine humanitarian aid.

Documentation of the evacuation process in Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Soledar, Bakhmut, Krasnohorivka; Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, Ukraine, 2022-2023:

Once again, I dedicate this effort to all residents of eastern Ukraine, whose challenging fate remains within my consciousness. I aspire for my work to symbolize memory and support.

For Your and my peace!

Sebastian Tomasz Płocharski / 16. 08.2023 / Kramatorsk, Ukraine

Also support the independent frontline evacuators I work with:

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