The outcome of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine is far from set in stone, but now comes the story of the Ukrainian president whose stance during the war made an enemy of the pro-war and a hero and role model for many Ukrainians and their supporters has to be painted in sand.
That’s right: an artist collective made up of so-called “sand artists” from Leipzig, Germany, wants to show the moving and sometimes unbelievable story of the Ukrainian President drawn in sand at the end of April. “It is planned that we will have a 15-minute appearance at the Federal Press Ball in Berlin,” said Dimitrij Sakharov, the director of “Sandartisten”.
The six artists in the ensemble specialize in drawing, blurring and repainting images with fine desert sand on a light table – creating a kind of film made of sand. In the apartment of the artist Alla Denisova there are sketches of the scenes that she draws with finely granulated sand and a brush during the performance. Every wrinkle and every shadow of Selenskyj’s face should be visible. For the audience, the image on the light table is transferred to a screen with a camera.
Although Denisova has lived in Germany for many years and works for the “Sandartisten”, she is particularly affected by Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. The Ukrainian used to study art in the port city of Odessa, she says. Her daughter is also actually studying in Ukraine. When the war broke out, the young woman happened to be visiting Germany. She lives with her now.
Other artists in the ensemble are also Ukrainians, says Sakharov, who was himself born in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod. “The war affects us morally.” He has many friends in Ukraine, but also works with Russians. “You just have to bring good people together,” Sakharov said. Everyone wanted to help where they could. He himself takes care of Ukrainian refugees who have found shelter in Leipzig.