This project is about families divided by war. The work will be done in ink and, most importantly, through testimonies.
Reportage artist George Butler travels to Odesa, Mykolaiv, and the outskirts of Kyiv to interview families caught up in the war with Russia. He traces the routes families have taken as they have fled—some to Lviv by train, others with grandchildren now housed in Poland, and beyond—recording in pen and ink the cost of war on civilian life.
One of the themes Butler pursues is to record a single geographic location per day, for example, drawing in an operating theater. He focuses on recording stories of love, life, everyday heroism, and bravery—an inflexion point of characters, locals, nurses, and international medics.
Butler also links up with the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine and with a British combat medic team running operations into Ukraine; for example, reuniting a baby, who was cared for by his surrogate mother in Kyiv, with his father in Romania. The lengths that individuals will go to help in war is both extraordinary and heartbreaking. Butler believes drawing is the best way to encapsulate that.