Of their faces shiny with virtue and simultaneously sooted with smoke from burning tyres, there is little more for me to say. The young woman shot in the throat, who tweeted her last tweet and then came back from the dead, leaves nothing unsaid. Protestors barracking their leaders for settling too easily; the presidential palace deserted except for animals in the private zoo – all of these articulate what’s happening in Kiev with the possibility of its opposite, without needing any help from me.
There is realpolitik: Russia’s sphere of influence versus the self-interest of the EU, played out on the streets and played badly – for short-term positive image-points rather than the long game of Diplomacy.But the turn of events in Ukraine – the possibility that they will turn and turn again – eludes both the diplomatic game and the critical analysis of it.
At the other end of the news reporting spectrum, there are pin-sharp pictures which bring the-right-now to us readers right-here. But their technical quality lends a spurious clarity to events which are still hazy; their outcome yet to be decided.
Analysis and illustration: neither approach quite captures the quickening uncertainty of the moment.
Nor is this the time for Singing The News. Other events have prompted me to use an experimental form of reporting in order to locate the true liveliness of those involved; and this, in turn, is to suggest the possibility of other outcomes – that it is possible, after all, for events to turn out otherwise.
Nowadays we are normally so far from recognising this possibility, it takes an unusual form of composition to construct it. But in Kiev today the possibility speaks for itself. It is writ large in a situation which could patently go either way; and there is nothing for newscompositor to do but sign off for the night.