Vadim, or Through the Eyes of a Fixer

© Andrey Bezludniy

From October 5th to 31th

Exhibition curated by Sara.H Danguis and Guillaume Herbaut

Vadim is the person you don’t see. He’s in the shadows behind the journalists: the Fixer.
Without him there would be no in-depth investigations and no pictures.

He prepares the ground in advance, identifies the key people for the reports and arranges the logistics. He battles to obtain permissions in the field, translates, ensures the team’s safety and is constantly at the journalists’ sides. And once the work is finished, as he’s the only one to stay, he has to deal with the consequences of the stories that are published. He is vital.

Vadim was born in Donetsk, in the Donbass region of Ukraine. The region is at war today. As an adolescent he lived through the fall of communism and the resulting upheavals. In the 1990s he left to study in England. In 2011 and 2013 he studied art and design at the Condé School in Paris. Meanwhile he opened an extreme sports shop in the centre of Donetsk, employing 20 people. Business was thriving.


Vadim, ou le regard d’un fixer
© Guillaume Herbaut


When the Revolution of Dignity began in Kiev in 2013 in Independence Square, he left and decided to film what was happening. A story about the Berkut, the Ukrainian riot police, became his first short film. He would follow all the events. Then he returned to Donetsk, and war began.

He was noticed by journalists. He spoke several languages, was enterprising, careful without being afraid, and had a good network. He was creative and above all, funny. He quickly became recognised as one of the best fixers.

In Ukraine, he worked for the biggest titles Le Monde, Paris Match, Le Figaro, Le Figaro Magazine, Elle, Marie-Claire, Arte, TF1, Bildt, M6, etc.

But at the same time he was losing everything. His shop closed and it wasn’t long before he could no longer live at home in Donetsk. A pro-Russian separatist republic, the DNR (People’s Republic of Donetsk), was founded. War had arrived, and Vadim was struggling to survive. One report followed another. The war had become his day-to-day life, and he was recording it alongside his work.

He was looking for his own voice in his own way, outside journalistic conventions. Using video, film and digital photography, installations, collected objects, visual experiments, sketches and sound recordings, he has created a rough-edged work out of the chaos of war in order to try to understand how it has changed him.

Espace Culturel E. Leclerc
Boulevard du 6 juin
Open Monday through Saturday 9 am to 8 pm

Free Admission

October 5 2020


Espace Culturel E. Leclerc