Photo exhibition documenting Ukraine war on show at The Margate School

Russians destroyed the high street of Borodianka. Credit: Krisztian Elek/Story Picture Agency

A photo exhibition documenting the war in Ukraine and the plight of those fleeing conflict has opened at The Margate School.

As the war ceases to occupy front-page international news, Leave No Doubt tells its story through the eyes of independent photographer Krisztian Elek.

Krisztian, a Hungarian and Margate-based photographer, spent 75 days in Ukraine documenting the immediate impact of the war from the first day of the Russian invasion.

Photo Krisztian Elek

Six months on, he returned to the country for three weeks to focus on how the locals deal with the ongoing war. He has travelled to Lviv, Odesa, Mykolajiv, Kyev, Bucha, Hostomel, Irpin, Borodianka, Andriivka, Hkarkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Chernoby, Donbas, working with journalists, fixers and volunteers.

Lviv funeral of Oliynyk Dmytro (40) and Pohylenko Dmytro (39). Credit: Krisztian Elek/Story Picture Agency

The exhibition is curated from thousands of photographs.  These highlight  the survival strategies of the fighters, the fleeing and those facilitating help.


Krisztian is a self-taught photographer, developing his practice since 2015 and changing it step-by-step in the last six years.

He said: “I have always been an open-minded person. I cared about people and social issues. That was the reason why I became a social worker back in Hungary. But after I have been volunteering in four different African countries (Zambia, Ghana, Uganda and Guinea Bissau) it has changed me radically and my eyes became much more open and more sensitive to human suffering.”

Krisztian Elek is using photography to show the impact of war in Ukraine

Krisztian now has plans for other documentary photography and photo essays in Greenland (about climate change) and to cover the struggle of the Sahrawi people/Polisario Front against the Moroccan troops in Western Sahara, whilst also developing his ongoing project about the living conditions of the refugees in European countries.

A young boy at Lviv station holds his cat Photo Krisztian Elek

The Margate School has supported the Ukraine project, offering its space to host this exhibition projecting a series of powerful, and at times, disturbing images.

Exhibition open

Tuesday 15 to Friday 25 November, daily 10am to 4pm

Saturday 19 November, 6pm to 9pm

Margate-based photographer documenting reality of life for people in under siege Ukraine