Young Ukrainians are pairing their love of techno music with a community-driven effort to rebuild their country.
Armed with shovels and a set of DJ decks, around 200 people in northern Ukraine have been cleaning up debris left over from Russian missile strikes.
Occupied by Russian forces a few short months ago, more than 300 people were trapped in a school basement in the village of Yahidne for weeks by Russian occupiers.
Now, a “clean-up rave” organised by the Repair Together initiative to rebuild the village is well underway.
Located around 140km from Kyiv, the DJ has his turntables set up on a stack of ammunition boxes playing house music as volunteers work in the village.
“Volunteering is my lifestyle now,” said Tania Burianova, an organiser with the Repair Together initiative.
She added: “I like electronic music and I used to party. But now it’s wartime and we want to help, and we’re doing it with music.”
Ukraine’s club scene was brought to an abrupt halt with the Russian invasion on February 24.
Now, with a night-time curfew in effect in Kyiv, and the threat of more Russian rocket attacks ever present, Ukraine’s party scene has sought to combine the fun and freedom of a music festival with rebuilding the country they love.
Local resident Nina, 68, said she spent those awful weeks in the basement before the Russian troops withdrew, and that 11 people died there as a result of the poor conditions.
She was grateful to see young people coming together to help the village recover.
“They already repaired our windows, doors and entrances,” Nina said of the volunteers. “We couldn’t do it ourselves with our salaries or pensions. I’m thankful that they helped us.”
Most of the volunteers were in their 20s and 30s and came from Kyiv, which is approximately a two-hour drive away.
But others have come from the western city of Lviv and also nearby Chernihiv, while some foreign volunteers arrived from Portugal, the United States, Germany and elsewhere.
The clean-up at the cultural centre was the group’s eighth project so far, and they have already helped repair 15 damaged homes in the village.
They plan to expand and hold a building camp event in the nearby town of Lukashivka, where they will construct 12 houses for people whose homes have been destroyed.