Mother Land

When I was a child, my mother would sing Ukrainian songs to me every evening, until I turned five. On the first day of the full-scale Russian invasion, I needed to hear my mother's lullaby again. Holding back her tears, she sang it to me on the phone.

I left Ukraine when I was seventeen, and from that moment I rarely saw my mother. On the 27th of February, she fled the war and came to me in Berlin by evacuation train. War forced her to leave her life behind and start a new one in Germany. It also placed us in a small flat, where we started living together again.

The common experience of unbearable pain, hate, fear, but also love, pride, and hope, brought us closer and led us through personal transformations. The unexpected circumstances we found ourselves in made our parent-child bond flourish into an adult relationship. The project “Mother Land” became an honest expression of it.

This body of work is also a condemnation of Russian aggression, and the death and destruction it brought to Ukraine. Such an autobiographic macro-example of one family represents the realities of forced emigration caused by war. It brings attention to millions of lives that were broken by imperialistic ideas, intolerance, and lust for power in Russia.