The Russian occupation of Crimea and the military invasion into Eastern Ukraine forced a million and a half people (according to official statistics) to abandon their homes and flee in order to escape military actions and prosecution for their political views.
Today, almost two years later, when many refugees have already settled into new homes, it becomes clear that the problems caused by the involuntary resettlement are not limited to material losses.
The occupation has not only forced us out of our homes, moreover, we were thrown out of continuity of our personal histories.
While packing documents and money in a hurry, we’ve left scattered grandmother’s photo albums, mother’s jewellery, and our first toys, all those trinkets that used to mark our progress in time. Those are the things that no one would rescue. They are useless for settling down in a new place. They would not make your new life better. For many years, we’ve been stockpiling those silent witnesses of our existence only to abandon them in a critical moment, thus depriving ourselves of material memories. The scale of this trauma is yet to be estimated.
Cut off from our roots, deprived of past, uncertain about future, lacking support in the present, we are unable to move further until this loss is apprehended, described, and analyzed, and until the emptiness caused by it is filled again.
Each participant of the project tells about loss experience in the first person as someone personally involved in a traumatic incident, using all the available artistic media to analyze the possibility of reconstructing their own memorabilia.