Not far from Kiev, in a village called Muzychi, lives visual artist Alevtina Kakhidze. Despite several offers from friends and family to leave Ukraine, she decided to stay and understand what’s happening to her home country. Since the outbreak of the war, her diary entries blatantly reflect the horrors happening to Ukraine. Kakhidze has always been a critic of the post-Soviet reality of her home country. Growing up in the coal mining Donetsk region of Ukraine, she already experienced the abrupt change from the USSR to the post-Soviet reality in her childhood. She actively participated in the Maidan protests from 2013-2014 and her various works address the socio-political conflict in Eastern Ukraine, such as her performance “Where the Wild Things Are” for Manifesta 2014 in St Petersburg. On March 9th, she sent us the following statement, “with a hope of breaking this chain of having, producing and selling weapons”.
A message from Alevtina Kakhidze.
Before the Russians brutally attacked my country, which is part of their aggression starting in 2013, I was working with plants. To me they are an example for us to follow. Plants are pacifists as much as possible on our planet. I put those words on a door of my studio in case occupiers enter my village, as has happened nearby – in Bucha, Hostomel and Irpin. Still, I have a hope to remain alive through this horror, as Russian tanks stand just 5 km from my studio where I write this text. It is crucial that human civilization find ways of achieving stable peace for whole world, and not just for a part. Otherwise we have to admit that we are monsters and that it doesn’t matter where we are based – in Russia, France or Ukraine. The weapon is produced in this world and it is a confirmation of it. My country needs and asks for weapons so that we can defend ourselves. It looks like we have a moral right to use them. I still have a hope of breaking this chain of having, producing and selling weapons in general.
Village Muzychi, 9.03.2022