How to see war through sound? It’s the question people ask when they first propose a podcast, and this time about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The answer lies in the result: Eyes of War is a sound documentary that takes you into the first weeks of the great European war of the 21st century by the special envoys of La Vanguardia and yours truly.
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Felix Flores, Placid Garcia-Planas, Joaquin Luna and Maria Paz Lopez describe scenes that stay in your memory, detail facts that help you understand the inexplicable, and voice their main characters. All this was accompanied by real sounds that were recorded on the ground, both in Ukraine and in neighboring countries, by newspaper correspondents or international news agencies.
All sounds were recorded by reporters and agencies on the ground.
There are three chapters that represent war, life, and the challenge of storytelling. In The War, Flores recalls how the invasion took him by surprise in Kyiv. Him, the Ukrainians and the entire continent. He went to cover the expected escalation of the conflict in the Donbass. But on February 24, bombs fell on the whole of Ukraine.
The destruction does not stop after more than two months of invasion: cities like Mariupol or Yarkov were almost completely destroyed, and at least 1,315 civilians died across the country, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who warns that the real numbers significantly higher. In Mariupol alone, authorities claim at least 20,000 deaths. “In the two weeks that I was there, I already saw more corpses than in 10 wars that I covered in 30 years. It was an absolutely deadly war in a very short time,” Garcia-Planas reflects at some point. in chapter.
It was the tension of knowing that we were going to a place that everyone wanted to leave.
The second chapter, “Life”, is a counterpoint to the first. It is survival, flight and daily life established despite the bombing. They are Felix Flores, traveling west on a train full of women in pastel tracksuits, and Maria Paz Lopez, continuing from Poland in a car with stuffed animals larger than children. More than 5.5 million people left Ukraine in search of asylum in neighboring countries. They go on their way, and the men go back. Joaquin Luna is one of them. He’s on his way to the capital, the silence says: “It was the tension of knowing we were going to a place that everyone wants to leave,” he says. At that time, the city was surrounded by Russians and there was a feeling that it could fall at any moment.
The third and final chapter is called “Chronicle”. Special envoys’ raison d’être: to share their experiences with the readers (and now listeners) of this paper. But how to tell the war? Garcia-Planas put it clearly: “He who does not know how to make a report from the Hospital does not know how to make it from Yarkov. Shells don’t define a good reporter.” “Let yourself be surprised,” yes. Four journalists talk about how they work in conflict situations, about their fears, fears, tricks and reflections on the profession. From how the pain of another is explained and digested, to the jokes that come up to soothe the soul.
Who does not know how to make a report from l’Hospitalet, he does not know how to make from Kharkiv
Three pieces with their voices, sounds and music make you feel like pieces of this dark episode in history. You can sit in the broken car of a mother fleeing martial law with her son, still a teenager, but already grown up for the draft. Open the gates of the courtyard of the Kharkov morgue and you will see 150 bodies of civilians dumped in a heap. Or watch the mayor of Kyiv and the former world boxing champion grow up as bombs fall in the background as he gives a press conference.
They were there. And you can too.
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