Hello all. My name is Joey Marasek.
Self proclaimed master chef.
Here in Ukraine, my vision is to build relationships through art. The idea started in Nuremberg, Germany while attending the Marriage of the Arts YWAM DTS. The DTS is designed to teach people how to build relationships and proclaim the Gospel through art.
My love for photography began on the World Race. Before then, I had dabbled a little bit in the photo world. When I was a child, my family had a lot of film point and shoots, and on vacations we always had the disposable cameras. I used to love the feeling of dropping them off and waiting to see what was on them. I never thought it as even a hobby though. On the World Race, a girl on my team, Jaclyn, had a DSLR. I would always use it and was impressed with the results. When I returned to the States from the Race, I got “gear acquisition syndrome, and bought more cameras and lenses then I really needed at the time. When I got to Thailand though, my photography took off and I went from a few months before knowing nothing about photography to working with various NGOs in South East Asia.
I knew I wanted to do more, and I was drawn to the conflict photography of James Nachtwey, Eddie Adams, Lynsey Addario, Kevin Carter, and Zoriah Miller. While their photos depicted much violence, they told a story of people in need and truly captured raw emotions of people. In Thailand and Cambodia, I focused on refugees. I spent much time in the mountains of northern Thailand photographing Burmese refugees, and time in Cambodia photographing people who were forcibly evicted from their homes. My heart for them would carry on into Germany, where we worked with refugees from Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Eritrea, and later in Dharamshala, northern India in the Hindu Kush, where we worked with Buddhist refugees from Tibet.
Moving to Ukraine provided some different opportunities. When I first got here, I quickly known for my photography experience and my extensive traveling. I was asked to speak at cafes and universities, and put on a couple of exhibitions. Through this I met many people who shared my love for photography. I have been blessed with amazing opportunities to photograph different people throughout the country, such as Marta (pictured left), villagers, orphans, gypsies, and the people of Lviv, both local and foreign. Something amazing happens when you take someones photograph. We recently went to a gypsy village in western Ukraine, and they were amazed when I brought out my camera, flash, light stands, and umbrellas. They had never seen anything like that before and have never had a professional portrait of themselves. Their photos have been edited and printed and are in the mail on the way to them. I am very excited for them to receive them.
Alena and I are excited to continue to doing ministry here in Lviv and throughout Ukraine, and expand now that we are partnered with CODE Ministries. Stay tuned for an introduction from her and then a better explanation of he ministry we hope to build here in Lviv.