Hi everyone, my name is Oleksandr Shpak. I'm a ballet dancer at the State Ballet of Berlin and one of the organizers for "Testament of Bucha" project.
On the 24th of February 2022, Russian Federation began a brutal war of extermination in my homeland Ukraine.
There are now strong enough words to express all the terrifying feelings of fear, anger and helplessness that humans go through in my place. From day one, I've been getting all the horror news, not only from the official media but also directly from my friends and family. Hearing bombs explosions in the background while talking with my mother on the phone, seeing photos of destroyed houses in my old neighborhood sent to my WhatsApp from childhood friends…
But all my pain is nothing compared to the everyday lives of thousands and thousands of Ukrainian women, men and children, with their horrific and irreparable life stories, forever rudely rewritten by Russian invaders.
My friend and colleague Andriy Radnyuk, from the first days of the war, joined the territorial defense of Kyiv to protect his family and his hometown. So when he told me about his "Testament of Bucha" project, I decided to do everything possible to help him make it happen!
Andriy’s squad was one of the first to enter the city of Bucha (Kyiv region) after its liberation. The nightmare of the ruined city he saw, and the heartbreaking stories about the inhuman cruelty of the Russian occupiers, which he heard from the town's inhabitants, inspired him and his comrade Roman Smenyshyn-Braesku to this project - “Testament of Bucha.”
In the photo is Andriy in Bucha
- The background of the project is the war crimes committed by the Russian Army in the city of Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv - Bucha Massacre
- The Bucha massacre is considered the epitome of the atrocities of the Russian Federation in the war against Ukraine.
- An installation will be placed in a public square in Berlin (George Grosz Platz 10707)
- From 22. August until 15. September 2022
- In the center of the installation is a shot-up, burnt-out car in which four civilians were brutally murdered by the Russian military while trying to escape from occupied Bucha
- The victims are three women and a young girl
- The installation is supported by information material as well as a video from an independent journalistic organization СХЕМИ (Radio Svoboda ) and Stop Fake
- Watch the video: https://youtu.be/mwMKETItrKk
- The project organizers, Andrei and Roman, will be present throughout the exhibition as speakers. Trying to bring their vision of this war as insiders to the public.
How it will look:
- The project aims to bring the Berlin citizens and the guests of the city closer to the everyday life of war in Ukraine
- If possible, to make the viewer understand that the Russian terror towards Ukraine began not on 24. February 2022 but several centuries ago
- The harrowing scene of a car destroyed and shot to pieces is in direct conflict with the surroundings
- The video documentation of an affected person gives the viewer a direct and personal insight into the reality of war.
- The viewer becomes aware that this war is not far away but is "on our doorstep.”
This project, I think, should show the tragedy of Bucha, Ukraine (or any other country which is at war) to the world through the example of a young guy - Evgeny Mishchenko, who instantly lost his mother and fourteen-year-old sister. It should be a call to action to all humanity to help Ukraine to win this war, to protect its women, men and children and perhaps not only their own.
I believe that projects like this can make a difference. Therefore, if you are not indifferent to the fate of Ukraine, if you want such stories as the story of Yevgeny and his relatives to stop happening to Ukrainians every day, then please, support this project.
Despite the tremendous support, which allowed the project to develop to its current state without finances, in its last phase, unfortunately, spending can't be avoided, such as:
- Transport - 4.000 €
(The car and organizers from Ukraine- 4 people / Kyiv-Berlin-Kyiv)
- Accommodation - 3.500 €
(organizers from Ukraine in Berlin: a place to stay, food, public transport costs)
- Security - 5.000 €
(Due to the fear of acts of vandalism to the exhibit, it should be guarded 24/7)
- Advertising - 4.500 €
(It is good if the exhibition will find the place but it's also essential the people get to know about it, so we plan to do paid advertising on Social media as well flyers, posters etc.)
- Unexpected costs - 500 €
(you never know what can come on top)
- Total - 17.500 €
If we collect more donations than specified, they will be used for further "Testament of Bucha" exhibitions. After Berlin, we plan to tour other European capitals. Or they will be used for humanitarian aid to Ukraine
With hope for your support, sincerely yours,
Oleksandr Shpak and all involved