Annie Lebowitz’s latest Vogue photo shoot of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife Olena has sparked condemnation with many feeling the article was inappropriate amid the Russian invasion.
The presidential couple featured in a digital edition of the fashion magazine which focused mainly on Olena, titled “Portrait of Bravery: Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska.” The photos were shot by famed photographer Lebowitz who traveled to Ukraine.
Artist Adam Broomberg strongly condemned the photo shoot in a viral Instagram post writing: “This is everything that is wrong with the world and how dangerously photography can intersect with it.”
“The idea of a conflict zone as a backdrop for an Annie Leibovitz shoot for Vogue magazine is vile. Posing the “First Lady” against a destroyed airplane in which people presumably died. Depicting a politician as an iconic hero without any nuanced understanding of their function and complicity in this 155-day-old brutal war. A superficial glossy depiction of a hero in the Hollywood mould,” he passionately writes on Instagram.
Texas republican representative Mayra Flores tweeted her outrage over the Vogue shoot and used it to make a political point.
“Biden: Let’s continue to send billions of dollars in foreign aid to Ukraine, they need it! Reality: The Zelensky family graces us with a photo shoot to be on the cover of Vogue magazine,” she wrote.
Biden: Let's continue to send billions of dollars in foreign aid to Ukraine, they need it!
Reality: The Zelensky family graces us with a photo shoot to be on the cover of Vogue magazine pic.twitter.com/NRdTWZOS3j
— Mayra Flores (@MayraFlores2022) July 27, 2022
However, not everyone was offended by the Zelenskys’ decision to pose for Lebowitz’s lens. The Washington Post columnist Sonny Bunch wrote a piece defending the embattled president titled “The Zeleskys are in Vogue. That makes them smart, not silly.”
“Let’s get real: Zelensky is meeting with Western celebrities and appearing in celebrity-focused magazines because that is the only way to keep the crisis in his country at the forefront of the American public’s mind,” Bunch writes.
To read Vogue’s feature, illustrated with Lebowitz’s images, visit the link.