- Please tell us a bit about you, what is your story?
I was born and raised in Ukraine and moved to the US to pursue new job opportunities as UI/UX Designer and to expand my career as an artist.
- Tell us about your experience with the war - what happened for you?
On the same day that the war started, I received a notification that my conceptual art installation idea was selected for Honoraria Grant by Burning Man to build the sculpture at the event in the fall 2022. I could not enjoy this incredible news and be happy and honored as my home country was invaded by Russia and a lot of friends and some family members were affected by this awful catastrophe and some had to flee their homes. I could not sleep and had constant anxiety about the future of my country and lots of worries if my parents would be safe. On top of that, I had a newborn baby girl that I had to take care of. We were planning to travel to Ukraine in the summer of 2022 to show the baby to my parents. All our plans were ruined by this horrifying attack.
- Tell us about the photoshoot - what does it capture for you?
This photoshoot is a way for me and my family to express my support to brave people who defend my country at this difficult time. Wearing vyshyvanka and the wreath that I made specifically for this photoshoot gives me a chance to show my cultural connection and my Ukrainian roots and pass it on to my child, to teach her about Ukrainian history, the beauty of the land, the warmth of the people, their songs, and our long cultural heritage. For me, Ukranians have been struggling for freedom and identity for centuries, it is enshrined in our music, and our symbols, and I think now the whole world sees how precious it is, and what we will do to preserve it - and we succeed!
- If people want to help Ukraine, what would be the most effective way now in your experience?
I think that any help will be much appreciated, any support with donations, food, warm clothing items, blankets or just simply showing solidarity with Ukraine and spreading the word.
On the other hand, this winter will be the most challenging, and I believe that providing any solar-powered devices and energy storage items, and batteries will be an amazing way to support people and soldiers during the cold weather.
My husband and I donated money to the Ukrainian army and other non-profit organizations as well as provided humanitarian help with nonperishable food items, baby clothes, diapers and medications that were shipped to Ukraine.