I was born in Crimea, the annexed territory of Ukraine right before the collapse of the Soviet regime. The war in Ukraine started from the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and followed the full scale Russian invasion in February 24, 2022. While grappling with and trying to process the war through multiple filters, my past memories of the place overlapped with an ongoing input of news and images from the war. These woven pieces are a response to the war and an attempt to make sense of it.
It was impossible to process this ineffable experience through words. When watching the news with the shelling of the peaceful Ukrainian cities, destruction of cultural centers and buildings, I collected images that represent this aggressive erasure. I chose to work with Chlorox on the dyed woven surface, the liquid that eats the color of the fabric along with pigments and dyes and changes the structure of the surface.
While distantly living through and processing the extremes of this war, one sees the background of this situation and the representation of it as strikingly black and white. In such extreme moments there is a dichotomy of heroism and atrocities, light and darkness, life and death that takes over lives and the minds without living much of a grey area. And nevertheless, inspired by Zelensky's quote 'Life Will Win Over Death. Light Will Win Over Darkness', this work processes unspeakable grief and aims to cultivate a space for aliveness, hope and strength for Ukrainians. While visually representing and processing the loss and I celebrate the strength of Ukrainians who fiercely fight for their lives, freedom and globally shared future.