Ukraine 360

360 days of traumatising war of Russia in Ukraine. Yet, Ukrainians manage to stem the invasion this time for a year. My generation of baby boomers in Western Europe no longer knows the day to day horrors of war. A photo-realistic exhibition organised by Dr. Justyna Napiórkowsak together with the Ukrainian Embassy in Brussels brings to us more than images of destruction. The Exhibition builds on a transparent organisation. All day and night long you can feel and reflect in front of the gallery windows of what war means to people affected. Rather than passing over the daily horrific news, it is important to take in images that will last within you. Since the exhibitions excels in linking to strong own emotions, the images tell lasting stories. Communicating about war is difficult. This exposition at the “Mont des Arts 8” in Brussels, not far from the “Place des Martyres” is symbolic. Ukrainian artists are going to stay with us, showing us what “The year of resilience. courage, determination and solidarity” mean in the Europe of today. Ukrainian youth, like the whole population, demonstrates all of this in posing for their 2022 graduation photo (Stanyslav Senyk, 2022) actually within the ruins of their city. They seem to sing: “We shall build this city on rock and roll” again. Ukrainian culture is unique. Putin’s Russia is still living in the 50s state of mind. The Russian soldiers might soon have their 60s moment “make love, not war”. For persons with Russian roots in Eastern Europe it feels like what you believed or were told was a friend before is now turning around and you shooting at you including committing war crimes (Geneva convention) on you. The exposition is a “homage to Ukraine”, Ukraine’s resistance and resilience. Teaching us lessons, lessons we should like to learn fast for the survival of democracy and our way of life based on freedom not coercion. The sociology of war informs what the term “Zeitenwende” means. Look at it, rather than look away. As previous College Master at Jacobs University Bremen graduation ceremonies were very personal and emotional events meeting students, many with their families. Ukraine 3.0 will prevail eventually. Thanks, Justyna for putting images 360° and 360 days next to this optimistic message.

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