YES TO HELP
February 24 was the day sirens could be heard not only in Ukraine, but all over the world. That day saw the birth of an artistic resistance movement, which to this day has been speaking out loudly against the mindless act of aggression involving an armed attack on another country. It was possible to collect part of the vast output of the artists involved in this movement and make their works of art themed with the events taking place in Ukraine form a single publication, the art book. The 114 works collected have been chosen based on the contributing artists’ proximity to Ukraine. Based on the quality of being neighbours with Ukraine. Neighbours is us.
This ‘neighbourliness’ is in this case a brotherhood and sisterhood that has no boundaries. We are united in speaking against the war through art and artistic means of expression. All artists-neighbours are very close to these dramatic events and support their fellow artists from Ukraine and the country itself. Neighbours are aware of the hell of war and the tragedies that affect Ukrainian families. This war is happening next door, and with access to information, this door cannot be muffled. You can hear and see everything through it. If we’re talking about any boundary at all, then it is the boundary of humanity, which has undoubtedly been crossed. It is the emotional boundaries of the people affected by the war that have been crossed too. The Neighbours project shows the emotions of the artists involved, expressed through individual works of art.
In the case of works of art created in response to the invasion of Putin’s Russia, we’re not dealing with propaganda. These works were created by individual artists and speak of their inner experiences and impressions. The works by Ukrainian artists are particularly impressive. The themes addressed — such as violence, murder, or rape, among others — are not presented in a literal, journalistic manner. Instead, they come with a considerable amount of real emotion. Non-Ukrainian artists who support Ukrainians, in turn, tend to incorporate themes of peace, hope, and support in their works; some of them are also clearly anti-Putin. To this day, there have been thousands of drawings created as an expression of strong opposition to the injustice, violence, and unlawful, reprehensible acts of the Russian aggressors.
We’ve been witnessing unimaginable horrors taking place in Ukraine for the past few months. Ukraine’s neighbours go to great lengths to support the country and its people, and perform real miracles in the face of these unprecedented events. This proves even further that IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING, and that even the smallest gesture can change people’s lives. We want to focus on the most vulnerable — Ukrainian children who have already experienced a heavy trauma by losing their parents, and continue to witness the horrors of war.
What is now necessary is funds for essential aid, safe transportation for children and families, therapy, treatment, food or housing for numerous foster families. The youngest ones need not only emergency aid, but also LONG-TERM assistance. Together with the UNAWEZA Foundation founded by Martyna Wojciechowska, we want to help Ukrainian children from orphanages and foster families. They are a group that has already experienced complex developmental trauma, and is now trying to cope with the effects of the psychological damage caused by the war.