The protesters who filled Maidan Square to battle the Ukrainian army and topple President Yanukovych often fought with little more than sticks, bats and sledgehammers. Their nasty homemade weapons are the subject of a series of portraits by photographer Tom Jamieson, and show how determined protesters were to either damage or defend against government security forces, depending on your politics.
While other photographers scrambled to shoot the epic scenes playing out at the front line, Jamieson wandered the occupied zone asking to see what protesters were packing.
“Every single person without fail had a club or a bat or something like that,” says Jamieson. “You couldn’t help but notice the DIY nature of the whole thing, from the barricades themselves to the totally inadequate body armor that people were wearing, and the weapons as well. It looked like something out of Mad Max, it was crazy.”
The weapons are shown in the hands of their owners against a black backdrop. Jamieson and his assistant wandered the occupied zone, lugging a black background cloth that they would set up when they found a protester carrying an interesting-looking implement. They shot outside in the square, in occupied buildings, near the protesters’ tents, usually in the early morning or twilight hours to keep lighting consistent.