10 Oct Call for condemnation and reaction of the state/Destroyed mural on the Male stepenice street and exhibition of children’s drawings at Kalemegdan
On Friday at around 1pm in front of the literary association KROKODIL, on the Male stepenice street, near Branko’s Bridge, black paint was thrown on a newly painted mural with the image and selected verses of Lesya Ukrainka. The verses quoted on the mural in Ukrainian and in translation into our language are from her poetic play in three acts published in 1911 under the title ‘The Forest Song’ and reads:
‘No, I am alive! I’ll live eternally. I have that in my heart which cannot die!’
We remind the public that Lesya Ukrainka (1871-1913) is a writer who is considered to be one of the founders of modern Ukrainian poetry. She was a political and feminist activist, folklorist, a highly educated person and polyglot. Today, her image adorns the banknote of 200 Ukrainian hryvnia.
Not far from this mural, at the Kalemegdan park promenade where the exhibition ‘Mom, I don’t want war!’ is currently taking place in the organization of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, a brutal intervention also happened. This exhibition features the drawings of Polish children from the period between 1939 and 1945 and the drawings of Ukrainian children created this year. A large black letter Z appeared on the works of these children.
We are warning that in the both cases, it is a question of open attack on the street art that represents counterpoint to dominant right-wing sensibility present in the part of our society, among those who openly support aggressors, relish in someone else’s misfortune, and cowardly destroy innocent children’s drawings and throw black paint on the classical verses of an acknowledged European poet.
The Association KROKODIL strongly condemns these and other similar examples of systematic pollution of our public spaces with dangerous street interventions that directly encourage the spread of hatred and violence, and evoke fear among the citizens of Serbia.
We once again invite authorities to react and punish all individuals who violate the law and directly represent a threat for public order, peace and the security of citizens.
The Association KROKODIL has recently enabled a pair of talented artists who decided to remain anonymous to create a mural with the image and selected verses of Lesya Ukrainka on the Male stepenice street next to the Branko’s Bridge. Lesya Ukrainka (1871-1913) is the quintessential Ukrainian writer and translator, known for her poetry and plays. She was also a political and feminist activist, highly educated and polyglot. The aforementioned quote inscribed on the mural is from The Forest Song (1911), a poetic play in three acts.