Kensington resident Mike Logsdon came to Philadelphia for college and never left. He fell in love with the city, the people, the history, and the culture. When he traveled to Ukraine at the beginning of this month, he found something he recognized.
“The thing that jumps out at me is their resilience, grit, determination, and strength,” said Logsdon, 41, comparing the Ukrainians he’s met to the people of his chosen hometown.
He said his trip — via plane through London to Poland, on trains through Poland to Lviv, and in a winding 14-hour car ride past military checkpoints to Kyiv — was inspired by his mother’s own experiences as a refugee. He’d heard about the suffering her family encountered when her father was imprisoned by the Japanese army, escaping to Australia, then growing up in Morocco before finally arriving in the United States.
As a photographer, Logsdon wanted to put a human face on the relentless news about the Russian invasion.
“It’s easy to forget when we hear that 3 million Ukrainians have fled the country and millions more are internally displaced that each of these men, women, and children have a story,” he said. “Where statistics can strip away the humanity of this crisis, hopefully images and names can restore it, to a small degree.”
The most memorable thing there has been seeing families split apart. But he’s also been inspired.
“Everywhere we see people contributing to the fight against the invasion,” he said. “From breweries switching to making molotov cocktails, to welders making tank obstacles, to women and men training and deploying to the fighting in the east.”
Scroll down to view 10 images Logsdon selected from the first weeks of his time in Ukraine, along with his captions.