— Rita, tell us a bit about yourselfe: where are you from, what kind of hobbies do you have, where do you work etc.
— I am 22, I was born and grown up in Uzgorod city, but last year I have been living in Kyiv and study on distance learning in the KNU learning the psychology. I also brought up 5 funny rats, hamster and parrot! I worked recruiting but after the beginning of the war i lost my job, now i create illustrations. I don’t have art education but i usually liked this. I used to post portraits of friends and pictures on topics of interest to me on my Instagram. But today the main and important there is only one — the war.
— Tell us how did you get the idea to create illustrations using real photos of the war.
— During first day (after incursion — editorial) I went catatonic scrolling news. Second day i spent on the road. May be if I had no had my animals I could stay home. I came to Khmelnizkyi, and I needed to do something not to loose my mind. May be, in every stressed situation I begin to sketch.
The first picture was about died russian soldier who lied among the sunflowers
. I think, it was like explosion of my anger for that moment, which overflowed me. My friends have supported me so I continued to create. I did not have concrete concept, I just sketched things that touched me.
© Rita Bliznitsova
© Emilio Morenatti, Rita Bliznitsova
© Serhii Nuzhnenko, Rita Bliznitsova
— There are thousand photos from the war on internet. How do you usually decide, which one you will sketch?
— It is hard to say that somehow I choose photo. I scroll news, see people who stayed alive after traumatic events, something is touching you and then I go to sketch. It is not easy for me to draw people who survived the grief. Some staff I can’t sketch at all. It is hard to imagine, what is inside people from my pictures, they survived horrible things but make a try to stay alive. You need huge brave for this and it inspire you. I also noticed that I have a lot pictures with animals. What still amazes me is that our people save their furry friends like children, it's just an extraordinary indicator of humanity. I draw a woman with dogs, she lost her husband and I saw not only a person whom big grim has come to her but also, I saw a person with damaged heart!
— Which photo impressed you and why?
— In general, we are stabbed in the heart every day. Never get used to it. I don't think it's possible to talk about the photo from Bucha. I would like to remind about photo which I saw on the first day of war — February 24. This photo by Anton Tarasenko. The photo was about 13 years old boy who died when he was ready for evacuation with parents. It was the first news about died child which I saw this caused a huge dissonance between what is happening and "nothing threatens civil people”. Now I understand that killing children is the ordinary thing for aggressor. For me it was big cause to turn the world upside down. That the Russians have something in their head and they did something. But it turned out that there was nothing to switch. Therefore, it was the beginning of the realization that such boundless evil can really exist in the world and can be supported by millions.
— What is the role of Art during the war?
— This is a powerful means of communication! We get a huge amount of information that makes us emote. This emote need to divide. Art people write lyrics, draw, and write songs. And during the process, adapt emotions into artwork. They talk and share this with the viewer, who recognize their own similar experiences. And a certain dialogue is built on this. People get a chance to feel that they are not alone. Art always transmits a problem and seeks an observer who can recognize it. Today this problem is the main for ukrainian people and most of the world. That’s why this dialogue unites a lot of people. Today the art is like the language this is really understandable all around the world.
— Please, make the end of this dialogue using 3 words.
— I’d like to say that I usually liked to draw everyday life and now I do this. It's just that now our everyday life is less optimistic and often full of pain. But I believe that very soon I could draw about the people who live calm under the peacefully sky and worry about ordinary life things. The only thing that will remain unchanged is that, as we have already seen, these people are extremely strong and courageous.
© Oleksandra Kraplya