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“Madonna”with Kalashnikov. a story of an image


I photographed this woman with a rifle in 1992 in Stepanakert,  – says photojournalist Oleg Klimov. Everything about this woman I knew at that moment was that she had come on foot from the Shahumyan region, where the clashes took place. I did not know what her name was, why the gun was in her hand. Photographers are always looking characters, cliché, symbolizing that time, event. There were hundreds of refugees, but I chose her because there was a gun in her hand. I took photos and went ahead.


Sometimes a military photographer can have an impression that “he saves the world from the war,” and maybe that was the only reason that motivates us to go back to this terrible place, the front line (even though deep in our souls we really perfectly understand that our thoughts are only illusion that the days when the great war could stop a fair picture or TV report, are long gone).


… I still cannot understand why I’m trying to find heroes of my photos (certainly not all), perhaps only those whom I have not told anything or asked, just  took photos and that is all ..


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