Donbass region in Ukraine is known for coal. While many of the mines are already closed, jobless men, struggling to survive, descend underground to risk their lives to haul up coal illegally. There are thousand of Illegal mines or "holes", controlled by the criminals, where there are no safety measures. The life of the Donbass miners is dangerous and sad, but they have an amazing hobby, which distracts them from everyday worries and brings happiness - breeding doves. Every second miner has hundreds of doves in his home. They the white birds in their hands black with coal and throw them in the air, enjoying the beauty of the flight. This poetic desire for sky and flight of people who spent most of the time deep underground is the theme of this essay.
Alexey Furman is a Ukrainian photojournalist based in Kiev. Having photographed news for wire agencies for more than 4 years, Alexey has recently switched his focus to in-depth reporting on various social issues all over Ukraine. He graduated from the journalism faculty of the Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University in May 2012. His clients include National Geographic Magazine Ukraine, EPA, The Washington Post. He took part in Pieter ten Hoopen’s, Jan Grarup’s and Foundry Photojournalism workshops in 2011 and 2013 respectively. Awards and exhibitions 2014 - group exhibition "Ukraine: The Post-Maidan Times" in Hamburg, Germany; 2014 - group exhibition "Ukraine in crisis" in Third Floor Gallery in Cardiff, Wales; 2014 - third prize in the "Reportage" category at the Ukrainian "Photographer of the Year" contest; 2013 - Award of Excellence in the "General News" category at the College Photographer of the Year (CPOY) student photo competition; 2013 - picture from the Chernobyl villages story selected for the International Photography Awards Best of Show exhibition in New York City. 2013 - honorable mention on PX3 (Prix de la Photographie Paris) international photography competition for a story about Chernobyl villages. 2013 - third prize in the "Reportage" category at the Ukrainian "Photographer of the Year" contest;