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The Storyteller

Writer, photographer, and filmmaker Benjamin Mack-Jackson’s images of Ukraine tell the story of a war.

A young man points gestures to a wall of photos showing scenes from Ukraine as several people study the images.

Andrew McIntosh

Benjamin Mack-Jackson (right) discusses his photos of Ukraine, which are on display at the Orlando Museum.

Benjamin Mack-Jackson wants people’s stories to be heard. In the summer of 2022, the 20-year-old Rollins College student traveled to Ukraine to document the stories of the people experiencing the war there. Nineteen of the photos he took are now part of an exhibit called Relentless Courage: Ukraine and the World at War, at the Orlando Museum of Art in Orlando, Florida.

The weary faces and shelled-out buildings in Mack-Jackson’s images document a nation that has persevered through terrible loss. Soldiers are shown, as well as refugees—people forced to leave Ukraine for their own safety and security. When the photos first went on display, in February 2023, it had been about one year since Russia had invaded Ukraine, igniting the war that continues to this day. Mack-Jackson says it’s important for people around the world not to forget this conflict and others.

“These are people just like you and I that are fighting and dying every single day,” he told WESH News in Orlando.

Side by side photos show a child looking out a vehicle window, a young man in front of a shelled building, and a man inspecting destruction.

All photos © Benjamin Mack-Johnson

Benjamin Mack-Jackson (center photo) took images of the effects of the war in Ukraine.

Mack-Jackson has already carved out a wide-ranging career as a documentarian—a teller of true stories. In 2015, he founded the WWII Veterans History Project, an organization dedicated to preserving the memories of World War II veterans. Through the project, he has interviewed more than 100 veterans and created a documentary called Normandy Revisited. In 2021, as part of his effort to make sure new generations understand the cost of war, Mack-Jackson wrote a book called World War II History for Teens.

“My mission is to preserve the history of war so that things like this aren’t repeated,” Mack-Jackson told WESH. 

Mack-Jackson’s Ukraine photos will be on display through March 19, 2023.


International Women’s Day

In a street march of several women, a woman speaks into a megaphone flanked by two women holding a large sign

© Elena Baryshnikova/

Women march for their rights in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on March 8, 2020.

March 8 is International Women’s Day. Observed around the world, this day is set aside to recognize and celebrate the achievements of women and to reflect on ways to achieve gender equality.

Did You Know?

President of Russia, The Kremlin, Moscow, © Pytyczech/, Office of the President of Ukraine; Photo illustration Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky (left) and Russian president Vladimir Putin (right) are at the center of the war in Ukraine.

Why is there a war in Ukraine?

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, with the aim of taking it over. Ukraine has been fighting back ever since. But the roots of the invasion go back decades. 

For most of the 20th century, Ukraine and Russia were part of a much larger country called the Soviet Union. In 1991, the Soviet Union broke apart into several separate nations. Ukraine became an independent country. Today, Ukraine has a constitution, an elected leader, and elected lawmakers. Russia also has a constitution and elections. However, international experts say that Russia is not a truly democratic nation because of corruption (dishonesty in the government) and human rights abuses. Free speech, for example, is not protected in Russia.

Russian president Vladimir Putin claimed he invaded Ukraine to save its people from human rights abuses. But experts say these abuses are not taking place. They believe Putin fears that the world’s democratic nations have too much influence on Ukraine’s government. Experts say Putin considers free speech to be dangerous because it can make leaders like him less powerful. The Russian president wants control over Ukraine so he can stop these threats.

The World in Pictures

Photojournalism is the use of images to tell a news story. Since the late 1800s, photojournalists have used cameras to document war, famine, and other events. Their images can have a powerful effect on the people who see them. Sometimes, they even affect the actions of local and global leaders. 

Jacob Riis

Seated portrait of Jacob Riis next to a photo of a small child in the hallway of a rundown building

Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Photo by Jacob Riis, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Jacob Riis (left) revealed terrible living conditions in New York tenements and helped spur city leaders to make improvements.

In the 19th century, photographer Jacob Riis captured images of New York City’s Lower East Side, where poverty was widespread. Riis’s photographs showed the conditions of apartments called tenements, where families were often crowded into poorly ventilated spaces, leading to the spread of disease. Riis’s 1890 book, How the Other Half Lives, caught the attention of city leaders and led to laws requiring improvements to tenement buildings.

Margaret Bourke-White

McKeown—Hulton Archive/Getty Images; Photo by Margaret Bourke-White, © National Archives—Hulton Archives/Getty Images

Margaret Bourke-White’s photos captured the war effort, as well as horrifying glimpses into concentration camps.

During World War II, Life magazine sent American photographer Margaret Bourke-White to Europe to document the conflict. Bourke-White accompanied the U.S. military on bombing missions. She also witnessed the liberation of concentration camps. Her photos stunned people around the world by clearly revealing the cruelty of these camps. 

Gordon Parks

Candid photo of seated Gordon Parks next to a photo of a family of six around a small table in a tiny room.

AP/REX/; Gordon Parks (LC-USF34-013302-C)/Farm Security Administration—Office of War Information Photograph Collection/Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Many of Gordon Parks’s photos captured the effects of racism and inequality.

In the 1940s, Gordon Parks began taking photos highlighting the effects of poverty and oppression on Black Americans. He photographed poor living conditions, signs reinforcing racial segregation, and activists taking part in civil rights protests. Parks’s work also captured moments of pride. As a World War II correspondent for Life magazine, he photographed an all-Black group of elite pilots called the Tuskegee Airmen.

The Power of Pictures

Animation of Polaroids, iPhones, camera, and film.

© Cornelius20, Rangizzz, Pixelrobot, Pisagor/; Animation Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

From photojournalists to influencers to anyone who has a smartphone, people around the world have the power to tell stories with images. 

You can learn more about the power of photography at Britannica School.

Learn more at Britannica School!






: a movie or television program that tells the facts about actual people and events

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