Mother Land

When I was a child, my mother would sing Ukrainian songs every evening to me, until I turned five. On the first day of the full-scale Russo-Ukrainian war, I needed to hear my mother's lullaby. Holding back 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 put us together in a small flat, where we’ve been living for a few months.

Experiencing unbearable pain, loss, hate, and fear, but also love, pride, and hope brought us closer and led us to personal transformations. The unexpected circumstances we found ourselves in made us go through the rapid transition from "parent-child" to "adult-adult" relations. The project "Mother Land" became an honest expression of it.

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

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Mother Land by Anya Tsaruk

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