German Peace Prize for Photography | Winner

Sebastian Wells & Vsevolod Kazarin

Berlin / DE

Young People Photographed in Kyiv, April and May 2022


When Vsevolod Kazarin, a fashion photographer, and Sebastian Wells, a documentary photographer, met in Kyiv, they decided to team up and combine their skills. Being both interested in the young generation of creatives in Kyiv, they started to work on a series of portraits that focuses on young people that don’t stop self-expressing their identities that are shaped by a coming-of-age full of revolutions, conflicts and war. While using the means of documentary photography and portraying the protagonists out of the situation and in their respective environment, the images are not just a style report, but a witness of a historical moment.

In a moment of conflict and violence, artistic expression is a fundamental form of resistance to tyranny, war and oppression. Photography and self expression through fashion can manifest freedom by permitting fantasy for a beautiful present and future, expressing emotions, creating dialogue and holding up the pillars for artistic freedom in a war.


Vsevolod Kazarin (b. 2000) is a young artist working with photography. He was born in the Luhansk region and grew up in a Kyiv suburb, where he lives now. Having obtained a bachelor’s degree in photography at Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts, Vsevolod works on artistic, editorial and commercial projects. After Russia started a full-scale war against Ukraine, Vsevolod couldn't stay away from the unimaginable aggressive violence that takes place all over his country. He is trying to find ways of using photography as a visual language to reflect on this unspeakably horrific reality.

Sebastian Wells (b. 1996) was born and raised in Berlin. As a member of Berlin based photographers’ collective OSTKREUZ, he works on assignments and on his own projects as a documentary photographer. He studied photography at Ostkreuzschule in Berlin, the University of Applied Sciences in Bielefeld and KASK School of Arts in Ghent and is a gallery artist at Galerie Springer. After the outbreak of Russias full-scale war against Ukraine, he soon decided to travel to Kyiv and met Vsevolod there. Together, they not only photographed as a team, but also founded soлomiya, a pannational artist's magazine published both in Germany and Ukraine and distributed worldwide.