"There are no tyrannies that would not try to limit art, because they can see the power of art. Art can tell the world things that cannot be shared otherwise. It is art that conveys feelings."

 - Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine 

Worth Fighting For

(c)Nikita Kadan - photo: Sergey Illin, 2022
Тінь на землі / The Shadow On The Ground, 2022
charcoal on paper

“In the middle of March, I started drawing black ploughed soil with a human figure lying on top of it, over and over again. Or, if we look at it another way, a horizontally aligned human silhouette overlaying a picture of soil. The motif is concretised through repetition. It has been repeated dozens of times from March until today. This motif has certainly been inspired by: the image of Ukraine’s “fertile soils”, together with all related colonial connotations; photos of the invaders’ corpses and the famous narrative of sunflower seeds in their pockets*; photos of their victims; makeshift graves in agricultural land plots; trenches turned into mass burials; land pollution caused by the war; tomorrow’s famine; bodies yet to be discovered; the “poisoned landscapes.”** I define the figure overlapping the earth on those drawings as a shadow. While soil absorbs, a shadow stays on the surface. A shadow marks places and times where and when, for the umpteenth time, human life ceases to be the ultimate value. In addition, a shadow cannot be hidden under a layer of earth, concealed or erased in any other way.”

* Marder, Michael. «Vegetal Redemption: A Ukrainian Woman and Russian Soldiers». The Philosophical Salon, 26, February 2022

**Oslavska, Svitlana. "Martin Pollack. Poisoned landscapes". https://krytyka.com/, Krytyka, February 2016