Kseniya Simonova’s amazing sand drawing

January 30, 2010

I was sent this via e-mail by a mate.

The text that accompanied it went as follows:
“This Video shows the Winner of 2009’s ” Ukraine ’s Got Talent”,
Kseniya Simonova, 24, drawing a series of pictures on an illuminated
sand table showing how ordinary people were affected by the German
Invasion during World War II. Her talent, which admittedly is a
strange one, is mesmeric to watch.
The images, projected onto a large screen, moved many in the audience
to tears and she won the top prize of about $75,000.
She begins by creating a scene showing a couple sitting holding hands
on a bench under a starry sky, but then warplanes appear and the happy
scene is obliterated.
It is replaced by a woman’s face crying, but then a baby arrives and
the woman smiles again. Once again war returns and Miss Simonova
throws the sand into chaos from which a young woman’s face appears.
She quickly becomes an old widow, her face wrinkled and sad, before
the image turns into a monument to an Unknown Soldier.
This outdoor scene becomes framed by a window as if the viewer is
looking out on the monument from within a house.
In the final scene, a mother and child appear inside and a man
standing outside, with his hands pressed against the glass, saying
The Great Patriotic War, as it is called in Ukraine , resulted in one
in four of the population being killed with eight to 11 million deaths
out of a population of 42 million.
An art critic said:
“I find it difficult enough to create art using paper and pencils or
paintbrushes, but using sand and fingers is beyond me. The art,
especially when the war is used as the subject matter, even brings
some audience members to tears. And there’s surely no bigger

I personally cannot testify to the veracity of all that text (especially the comment by the art critic) but it is an impressive and extremely important work by Kseniya Simonova.

Since it deals with the Eastern Front (OstFront), naturally I’ve included it here.

The Ukraine was a particularly precious prize to both the Germans and the Russians. Whatever conflict happened there was always going to be bloodier than usual. A grim reminder of why we should always exhaust all avenues of   “jaw-jaw” and leave “war-war” to be the absolute last resort (thanks to Winston Churchill for “jaw-jaw”-“war-war”).

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