09 May 2023
Jenya Polosina and Anna Ivanenko are Ukrainian artists. After Russia invaded their country, they decided to use their skills to push back against the war.
Polosina and Ivanenko worked with other artists in the early days of the war, which began in February of 2022. The group worked together in bomb shelters in Kyiv. Sometimes the artists worked without electricity and water.
Some of their art is on display in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire. The show is called "Our Fire Is Stronger Than Your Bombs." The show opened last week at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics in Manchester.
Polosina, Ivanenko and six other Ukrainian artists provided 20 pieces of art to the show.
Artwork from Ivanenko show children studying in a bomb shelter and Ukrainians fleeing the country soon after the war started.
Artwork from Polosina honors a Ukrainian female gymnast and a young mathematician. Both were among those who have been killed by Russian missile strikes.
Before the war, Polosina produced artwork for books and advertising that dealt with human rights issues. She created artwork for Ukraine's largest LGBTQ rights event, KyivPride. Ivanenko also did book and advertising projects.
But the two quickly changed their work to center on the war. They shared their creations on social media. The artwork has become part of a growing online effort to draw attention around the world to Russia's war with Ukraine.
Ivanenko described how she was "charged with rage" and a "desire to stop the war, stop the aggressions." So her artwork is her effort to help "in a small way."
Polosina said being able to show the Ukrainian artists' work in New Hampshire "is very important for us because this is almost direct communication with viewers outside of Ukraine that can see our reflections, that can see our feelings and be more sympathetic."
I'm Gregory Stachel.
Michael Casey and Vasilisa Stepanenko reported this story for The Associated Press. Gregory Stachel adapted it for VOA Learning English.
Words in This Story
display – n. put somewhere for people to see
gymnast – n. a person who performs various physical exercises on a mat or on special equipment as part of an athletic competition
LGBTQ – n. initials used to describe the minority group that includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people
rage – n. a strong feeling of anger that is difficult to control
reflection – n. an opinion that you form or a remark that you make after carefully thinking about something
sympathetic – adj. having or showing support for or approval of something