When art finances the Ukrainian army | War in Ukraine

In the center of Kyiv, Marusya Ionova and Nadya Golubtsova go to the basement of the Dakh theater school, well-known to Ukrainians. Playing a few notes on an out-of-tune piano that has known better days, Marusya prepares to greet her few students who are going to rehearse experimental theater choreography this evening.

Marusya Ionova and Nadya Golubtsova greet a small troupe of aspiring actors from the Kyiv Dakh school.

Photo: Radio Canada

The course takes place in one of the cramped rooms, in a small, very dark room that acts as a stage. As young men dressed all in black set up chairs in the center of the room, Mariusa chooses staccato electronic music and Nadia gives some instructions for today’s rehearsal.

A soulful artistic spectacle for Marusya, who, three months ago, when the war began, had to suspend all her art.

We did not know what to do for our country, with our art, so we started writing a war diary. »

Quote from Marius Ionov

So, with Nadia, she turned this war diary into a play that they wanted to present abroad. Promote Ukrainian culture during the war and artistically explain what its people are going through.

: qu’est-ce qu’un être humain, comment ne pas être absorbé par les ténèbres pendant cette guerre? Mais aussi de simples questions, comme qu’est-ce que l’amour, qu’est-ce que la haine? Comment des gens qui sont loin de la guerre peuvent avoir de l’empathie? Ceux qui étaient en train de mourir ne sont pas juste des numéros. Alors, comment fait-on pour se tenir tous ensemble?”,”text”:”On a exploré certaines questions sur le thème: qu’est-ce qu’un être humain, comment ne pas être absorbé par les ténèbres pendant cette guerre? Mais aussi de simples questions, comme qu’est-ce que l’amour, qu’est-ce que la haine? Comment des gens qui sont loin de la guerre peuvent avoir de l’empathie? Ceux qui étaient en train de mourir ne sont pas juste des numéros. Alors, comment fait-on pour se tenir tous ensemble?”}}”>We explored some questions on the topic: what is a person, how not to be consumed by darkness during this war? But also simple questions, like what is love, what is hate? How can people who are far from war be able to empathize? Those who died are not just numbers. So how can we all stick together?

For Marusya Ionova, entering the stage is an opportunity to express herself and an act of support for her country in wartime.

Photo: Radio-Canada/Frederic Arnould

Thus was born Man, a question mark, an ensemble of music and theatrical performance against the backdrop of war and its deadly bombardments. The show was presented a few weeks ago in Hannover, Germany and Budapest, Hungary. Not without emotions for the two artists, but it was upon returning to their land that they fully felt the influence of their art on their own.

In Kyiv, a few days after this European escapade, Marusya really decides to offer this spectacle as part of a special one-day event that she organizes and baptizes. Art as a weaponart as a weapon.

In the basement of the Dakh school, novice actors rehearse the choreography, which will be presented in Kyiv as part of the next charity day in favor of the Ukrainian army.

Photo: Radio-Canada/Frederic Arnould

An event filled with theatre, music, creative workshops and visual arts that was an unexpected success; the curious came by the hundreds.

It was the first cultural event since the beginning of the war and there were a lot of spectators, we did not expect Marusya remembers.

The spectacle they created for the Europeans really won over their own fellow citizens. The audience cried and laughed, all together, and at the end everyone stood and said “Glory to Ukraine” and this gave us so much energyMariusa added.

Poster of the action “Art as a weapon”, a day dedicated to art for the benefit of the Ukrainian army

Photo: event poster

Due to the success of the event, they raised money from ticket sales. Several thousand dollars, which may seem ridiculous in the face of the Russian enemy, but which were donated to the Ukrainian army.

It’s a way to take care of the people we love, if it’s patriotism, then yes, it’s a patriotic act. admits Nadya Golubtsova.

Marusya Ionova plays a few notes on a somewhat out of tune piano that has seen better days in the basement of the Dakh Acting School in downtown Kyiv.

Photo: Radio-Canada/Frederic Arnould

Event Art as a weapon according to her, it has never been so aptly named. Culture is a very powerful weapon, it is a matter of the mind. When you are falling, when you are having a hard time, when darkness is engulfing you, it is important to understand what you are fighting for, not what you are fighting against.she adds.

For Mariusa, art is also a weapon of liberation. They can destroy our buildings, our homes, but they will never destroy what we call here in Ukrainian our freedom, that is, everything that belongs to our people.

Not only the detachment of Marousi gradually resumed its activities. Recently, the Kyiv Opera again began to accept a limited number of spectators for opera performances. Barber of Seville. A way of symbolic resistance to the aggressor, letting him know that fear does not prevent them from having a semblance of a normal life.

For their part, Marusya and Nadia will offer another day of cultural events in Kyiv in the coming weeks. Another way is also to make famous artists and art sometimes a more private success.

You should not immediately count on a very light and playful tone, Nadia warns. We would like to see comedy follow the tragedy, but this is not yet the case.

Nadya Golubtsova, an actress and artist from Kyiv, believes that if helping the Ukrainian army with your artistry is patriotism, then yes, being an artist is a patriotic act.

Photo: Radio-Canada/Frederic Arnould

In any case, probably not until the coming liberation of their country, they say with one voice.

I hope that soon we will be able to transform all this energy created by hatred and aggression into a new form of human consciousness, and I think that the last empire, Russia, will collapse.they scream together. “Do you really think so?” I asked them. Pfff, of course…– they said, as if sweeping the country of Vladimir Putin with a simple wave of the hand.

So many Ukrainian hopes are leaving this dark little place in the center of Kyiv, where these artistic performances are concocted, which have really become a weapon of mass distraction in this wartime.