I am moved – sometimes to sardonic laughter sometimes to tears of fury - by the absurd and bloody politics of identity in post-Soviet Europe. As Jack Nicholson says in Mars Attacks "Can't we all just get along?"
I find it bizarre how the children and grandchildren of people who did get along, drank the same home brewed spirit, sang the same songs, watched the same TV shows, enjoyed the same cinema and lived in identical apartments have now identified their neighbours as "the others" or "them" leading to merciless cruelty.
I also recollect in the tragic deaths in contemporary Ukraine my own family history in Yugoslavia. I am the grandchild of a war time girl courier of the type celebrated in Hemingway’s For whom the Bell Tolls. My grandmother was to survive a prison-of-war camp where her father in law was starved to death, to die decades later, in the 1990’s, of a heart attack as she listened again to the sound of bombing in Belgrade.
I wanted to give young and old people in Ukraine a chance to give us their thoughts on the return to war.
— Dolya Gavanski