Let Us Not Fall Asleep While Walking

Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 after which it declared itself a neutral state. In 2013, protests broke out in downtown Kiev after president Yanukovych’s government decided to suspend the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement and at the same time strengthen the economic ties with Russia. Months of demonstrations and protests known as The Euromaidan, escalated into the 2014 Ukrainian revolution which ultimately resulted in the over- throwing of Yanukovych and the establishment of a new government. These events preceded both the annexation of Crimea by Russia in March 2014 and the still ongoing War in Donbass.

In collaboration with the citizens of Kiev, ‘Let Us Not Fall Asleep While Walking’ shapes their experience into metaphorical depictions where time seems frozen but dreams of hope still linger. The series, which consists of 137 photos to match the death toll of the Euromaidan riots, is an attempt to capture the repercussions of this period for Ukrainian citizens.


Winner, Photo Book Award, Rendez-Vous Image, Strasbourg, FR
Winner, Sony Academy Award, B
Shortlisted, Author Book Award, Les Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles, FR
Laureate, Futures, Amsterdam, NL
Winner, Int. Documentary Photographer of the Year, IPOTY, NY, US
Winner, Emerging Talent Award, LensCulture, NYC, US
Finalist, Voies-Off Award, Arles, FR
Winner, Center Awards, Project Development Grant, Santa Fe, US
Winner, Alexia Foundation, Award of Excellence, NYC, US
Winner, DDK, Museum of Photography, Rotterdam, NL


Shortlisted, Author Book Award, Les Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles, FR

516 pages
Print run: 700
Published by Dewi Lewis Publishing, UK
Printed by PrintStoreGroup, Ukraine
ISBN: 978-1-911306-46-7

€39.00 EUR / £35.00 UK / $50.00 USA (+ shipping)



“An Album for _______” by Oksana Zabuzhko (introduction) (pdf)
“On Decommunisation” by Sébastien Gobert (pdf)
“Hybrid State | Hybrid War | Hybrid Law” by Prof. Outi Korhonen (pdf)
“Veterans Within” by Jack Losh (pdf)


NY Times
It’s Nice That
Lens Culture
Bird in Flight
Le Temps
Buro 247
Wall Street International
ART Ukraine
British Journal of Photography
Alexia Foundation


“Denil’s use of overtly cinematic staging in this project is definitely an artistic risk, but one that pays off handsomely in the ways it opens up the subtle psychology of Ukrainian people. Let Us Not Fall Asleep While Walking is a layered study of protest and its real human consequences, one that takes the specific circumstances of the Euromaidan situation and broadens and stylizes its outcomes, lessons, and meanings. The result is a memorably excellent body of work and photobook, one that seems to get more vivid and touching with each reading.”
, August 7, 2019 (pdf)

“With the book “LET US NOT FALL ASLEEP WHILE WALKING” David Denil shows himself not only to be a clever image maker, but also an erudite narrator and an excellent researcher and analyst. The book meanders from a humane documentary of the internal fragmentation within the hybrid state of Ukraine, to a commentary on unpunished attacks on activists and an unconcealed criticism of frozen research, but there is also room for hopeful stories of helping hands. This work expresses in a unique, moving way the experience of a disruptive policy and a human conflict, without betraying its complexity.”
Sofie Crabbé, August 3, 2019


The Exceptional and the Everyday: 144 Hours in Kyiv


ALEXIA Foundation