Ukrainian Sisters

From a distance we hear about war mostly from experts in geopolitics. How do we hear about real experiences of those who go through the war, about their visceral reactions and everyday struggle? When Russia began to bomb Kyiv, my friend Lesia was trying to flee from Ukraine with her 5 years old daughter. Their life turned into everyday anxiety, which torments you not only from the outside reality and media news but also from the inside of your own body. This series of watercolor drawings that Lesia had been making during the last weeks are an attempt to find some relief while externalizing this terrifying pain.
Oksana Briukhovetska

And now the impossibility, the horror, something that I can’t get what and why has looked at me from the trembling windows early in the morning. People build houses and do a lot of elaborate things, people are soft, and they do a lot of good things that need time, that are made step by step, they need wood, metal, glass, stone, plastic, people have learned to heal and help each other. If newborn babies are not made of titanium, if houses are not impregnable fortresses made from iron, why do people make bullets and missiles? We should not create a propaganda that replaces good and evil, that drives people crazy or fits into a paranoid consciousness. Why are technologies, skills, and knowledge so divided? I am surprised by the word “war crime.” Isn’t the very beginning of every war a crime? War itself is a crime. We need to change the language, and if people are not made of titanium, we need to narrow the threshold of what is possible, we must not make missiles for them, we must not do things that takes someone’s life, dozens of lives, thousands of lives, or, in the case of a nuclear bomb, all life.
Kateryna Lysovenko

Ukrainain Sisters. April 1-30, 2022. Stamps School of Art and Design. University of Michigan.
Lesia Kulchynska. War diary.
Kateryna Lysovenko. Dictator’s food.
Curator Oksana Briukhovetska