September 20, 2009

Kseniya Simonova, animating in sand.



"Sand artist, Kseniya Simonova, who moved audiences to tears as she won Ukraine’s Got Talent... drew a series of pictures on an illuminated sand table showing how ordinary people were affected by the German invasion during World War II.... The Great Patriotic War, as it is called in Ukraine, resulted in one in four of the population being killed with eight to 11 million deaths out of a population of 42 million."

18 comments:

Lem said...

That was moving.

traditionalguy said...

That drew genuine tears. What a great creative art form! Thanks, Professor.

chuck said...

Tatyana supplies some more information in this comment thread at Chicago Boyz.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

And that was AFTER the seven million or so who died of starvation in the early 1930s under Stalin's forced collectivisation and intentional destruction of the kulaks -- successful entrepreneurial peasants owning about 25 acres each.

The abundant 1932 grain harvest was removed almost completely from the Ukraine and sold on the world market to raise cash for the central government. The kulaks were dispossessed completely, right down to their pots at pans. Any one aiding them was shot.

By the spring of 1933, at least 25,000 people were dying of starvation, per day. By the end of that year, a quarter of the population had died, including over three million children.

In November 1933 the new Roosevelt administration granted full diplomatic recognition to the Stalin regime and negotiated several highly profitable trade agreements.

The Soviet Union was welcomed into the League of Nations.

Political persecution and executions continued -- especially in the more productive western Ukraine -- until June of 1941 when the Germans invaded.

The events depicted in sand came after a decade of agony, and it did not end for several more years. Retreating Russians burned crops (particularly the winter wheat ... then on the verge of harvest) and barns, they slaughtered all livestock, and they poisoned most rural wells.

My Hungarian in-laws could tell their own stories of being caught between Stalin and Hitler.

Most Americans don't even have the remotest clue. Mustn't talk about what monsters the Communists were, should we. Might disturb the students ...

JAL said...

Wow.

Ms. Simonova is 24. She started doing this on a beach last year according to artisticthings.com.

As noted over on Chicago Boyz, the words at the end mean “you are always near.”

chuck said...

Bart,

If we going to get sticky about artistic license, I guess it needs to be pointed out that many Ukrainians joined with the Germans and that anti-soviet Ukrainian guerillas were fighting into the early 50's.

Dogwood said...

Stunning.

Methadras said...

Wow.

ricpic said...

In the making of images there is a direct correlation between speed of execution and both accuracy and impact.

Or, put in the demotic: in art the fastest are the bestest.

The Crack Emcee said...

Makes most of the celebtards, here, look pretty pathetic - she can actually do something.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Bart: "Most Americans don't even have the remotest clue. Mustn't talk about what monsters the Communists were, should we. Might disturb the students ..."

More like it would disturb the professors!

OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

The Nazis were horrible and brutal to Ukrainians during WWII. Yet, Uncle Joe was terrible to the Ukrainians before WWII, as Bart said, and Little Nikita carried on as Stalin's disciple at the end and thereafter.

Still, the Soviets prevailed primarily because they were able to turn the fight into a patriotic war against the Nazis
because of Nazi stupidity and brutality.

Between the Nazis and the Soviets, there weren't any good choices. It did become that the enemy of our enemy was our ally for the moment.

One "might have" speculation is what if the Nazis had treated the Ukraine with respect and tried to win them over as an ally. The 1992 USSR breakup provides a strong hint about that possibility.

PatCA said...

Extraordinary. Incredibly moving. Thanks to her and to Ann.

William said...

She's a beautiful woman with a grand talent. But her talent seems so idiosyncratic that I wonder if she will ever be able to make a living at it. If art is the wish to create a lasting image, how do you do this with images graven in shifting sands?

Jeff Boulier said...

That's wonderful -- thank you for posting it. Searching around on Youtube, I found the artist's channel. Simonova has a number of videos posted; they're worth a look if you liked this one:

http://www.youtube.com/user/xensand

EDH said...

Brilliant performance art that creates a form of "live" animation.

Notice, the final musical piece was Metallica's Nothing Else Matters.

bearbee said...

Beautiful execution and presentation. Brought me to tears.

And that was AFTER the seven million or so who died of starvation in the early 1930s under Stalin's forced collectivisation and intentional destruction of the kulaks -- successful entrepreneurial peasants owning about 25 acres each

The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine

History Channel Stalin-Man of Steel

Jason said...

My cat was very impressed.

In fact, he was inspired to his own, more abstract creation a few minutes ago.