In war

Im Krieg - Ukraine -
Who protects from the shooters?

Kinder Album @iamkinderalbum

Culture is playing a different role. For eight years now, the independent state of Ukraine, since 31 years only, has been defending itself against the aggressor from the East. Only with weapons, as the news claims? What can defend the people who seek protection from invaders?

Aggressive behaviour can be as addictive as drugs. Even the threat of punishment does not stop the aggressor in his quest for a next dose of dopamine. The atrocities that are discovered and exposed as soon as Russian militias clear the site are without words. A culture of pause, of remembering the victims, as practised by the West, does not help.

There is no more apolitical dance. Even ballet, since it seems to revel in the distant 19th century, is political. The classics of the Romantic period are almost without exception of Russian origin and are interpreted by the Russian school – no wonder they are ostracised in Ukraine. It doesn’t help not to blame Tchaikovsky for the murder of civilians – be it the bombing of a maternity clinic in Mariupol or the massacre of Ukrainian prisoners of war in Olenivka.

The theater in Mariupol
Oleksii Sai

Soviet-style ballerinas carry Vladimir Putin to the grave

No one there wants to see Russian art anymore. One could dance in contemporary styles now. One could try to look for ballets without Russian origins, but you won’t get much further than “Giselle”. Since 2014, with the annexation of Crimea and the occupation of the Donbas, Ukrainian artists have necessarily taken a political stance. Especially in dance. Because it affects the body, very directly.

Hardly anyone in the West knows that around eighty per cent of Ukraine’s artists have not fled. They stay in the country, if they can, and fight back. Not that they take up arms (although it exists). They stay to show attitude, to give voice to the voiceless and contour to the traumas.

The original manuscript can be made available on request.

Culture Fighting for its Life


When Russian troops occupy Ukrainian cities and towns, they bring Russian school textbooks and Russian schoolteachers. Meanwhile, in Russia, references to Ukraine and Kyiv are removed from textbooks wherever possible. Russian missiles target not only military and civilian infrastructure, but also museums, ancient churches, mansions and theaters—even schools.