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Swiss photojournalist Niels Ackermann recalls that, come morning, the red quartzite statue had been chipped away to nothing, with only small fragments remaining.The series premiered in France last year during Les Rencontres d'Arles photo festival.Some of the statues were merely fragments – a knocked-off nose or decapitated head – otherwise vandalized or, in one case, turned into "Star Wars" character Darth Vader, when they were photographed.The project, Ackermann said, attempts to comment on how deeply rooted communism has been in Ukraine and how the vandalism of Lenin's statues offers a small insight into the changes in the country's belief systems.Shot digitally with a 35 mm lens, Ackermann edited his photos very little, wishing to keep them as natural and realistic as possible.Ackermann will present a talk about his Lenin project Thursday at the Sursock Museum, one of a series of Swiss Art Talks featuring visiting artists and designers sponsored by the Swiss Embassy.Ackermann hopes this project will show a more subtle story than the ones told in the news, as a work of both artistic and journalistic value.For his next series, he intends to work on war in a different iconographic language, while another project will focus on a Swiss orchestra.
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