Kids don’t take sides. They want war to stop, and this is where we have to learn from them.
It all started with my e-friend Kind Tsao (who is a very talented art-teacher for pre-schoolers in Taipei) sharing her wish to do a kids’ workshop to make children aware of how horrible war is. The next day I was reading some essays on kids’ feelings about war by secondary school students and a couple of days later I started to feel completely overwhelmed by the amount of horrible news that kept coming from both of my countries (Ukraine, my home country is being attacked and terrorised by Russia for almost a year; the Netherlands where I live has experienced the tragedy of losing 195 people in a plane downed by pro-russian terrorists over eastern Ukraine).
I realised that in order to keep myself sane I have to concentrate on Peace rather than war in my work and my goal is to destroy war “image”, turn it into a happy image.
At last I’m working hard on this anti-war workshop together with my friend Kseniya Bukshina and other great partners/friends from Ukraine. We hope to hold it in a couple of weeks in Kiev.
I see it as of something in between art performance and child’s play: camouflage uniform play the role of a canvas. Using paint, stencils, stickers, scraps, etc children are going to turn military clothes into objects of children’s imagination and fantasies, filling it with colours, patterns and shapes. Just like that they are going to redefine the symbol of aggression into one of innocent ideas.
At the workshop we are going to be raising money for child-refugees from eastern Ukraine. I hope to keep working on this initiative when back to the Netherlands.