Ukraine’s environment and war become themes of São Paulo mural



For the past few days, two images have coexisted on the busy corner of Calle Pinheiros and Calle Pedroso de Morais in São Paulo’s Pinheiros district. In the first work, the dancer is depicted leaning his body slightly to one side and delicately holding his hands in the air. Her figure seems to be interacting with her adjacent wall, where a second image can be seen. A blue and yellow vase is being restored by two people.

Two paintings on the walls of the same residential building show different styles and languages. As a result of joint work, they are displayed side by side to remind passersby of the two-year war between Ukraine and Russia and to protect environmental protection.qualified The Exchangethe mural was inaugurated on Tuesday (March 5) and is an initiative of the Ukrainian Institute of Brazil.

The first image (a dancer imitating the movements of a butterfly) was created by Ukrainian artist Sasha Korban during his first visit to Brazil. To come to the country, he had to seek special permission from the Ukrainian government. “I didn’t take part in the battlefield directly, but there is a war going on in Ukraine, so men can’t cross the border.” [without permission],” he said Agencia Brazil.

Mr. Korban became known worldwide for his mural “Milano,” which was painted on a building in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol in September 2018. The piece, a three-year-old girl cradling a teddy bear, is a tribute to young Milana Abdullasitova, who was killed in a Russian missile attack while trying to protect her mother. This painting became a symbol of resistance in this country.

The piece next to it depicts a butterfly emerging from a cracked traditional Ukrainian vase and is signed by Eduardo Kobra, a Brazilian artist known both in his country and around the world. Many of his works have environmental protection and peacebuilding themes, such as a mural he painted for the United Nations in New York depicting a father handing over the earth to his daughter.

“I like to work with themes such as peace, tolerance, national unity, respect and coexistence. I have been creating murals around these themes for many years,” said the Brazilian artist. “[I thought the idea of a joint mural] It was special because together we could use our brushes and paints, our weapons, to end this senseless war. ”

“I think everyone can see how nonsense any war is. I think the world must take action to stop this kind of conflict as soon as possible,” Cobra argued. .

together for a mural

São Paulo (SP) 04/03/2024 - Start of conference, fever on the 24th, activities of the Institute of Ukraine, artist Eduardo Kobra, Ukrainian Sasha Korban's Trabal Harem Juntos and large-scale mural Bairro in Pinheiros, São Paulo・De Pinheiros. Photo: Paulo Pinto/Agência Brasil
São Paulo (SP) 04/03/2024 - Start of conference, fever on the 24th, activities of the Institute of Ukraine, artist Eduardo Kobra, Ukrainian Sasha Korban's Trabal Harem Juntos and large-scale mural Bairro in Pinheiros, São Paulo・De Pinheiros. Photo: Paulo Pinto/Agência Brasil

To commemorate two years since the start of the conflict on February 24, a project of the Ukraine Institute brings together Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra and Ukrainian Sasha Korban to create a large-scale mural in São Paulo’s Pinheiros district. Work on production. Paulo Pinto/Agencia Brasil

Cobra and Corbán’s first meeting in Brazil took place in Itu, São Paulo, where the Brazilian artist had recently opened a studio. So they came up with the design for her two walls of the building. Painting began on February 27th.

“[In my studio] We were able to discuss the technical details of proportions, size, aesthetics and logistics, as well as how to compose this painting,” Kobra said. “[A painting like this] It is not easy. Luckily it didn’t rain that week, but it was extremely hot, so it was really hard work. “That’s what I always say, it’s not about the painting itself, it’s about the message, the discussion,” he added.

The cobra butterfly meets the Korban ballerina and symbolizes the freedom to which Ukrainians want to fly. The hand gestures prominent in both works signal the rebirth of the war-torn country, turning the murals into both a treatise on unity and peace and a manifesto for environmental protection.

“That’s what I wanted to do, to portray something that gives hope to our country and our people, so that we can remain the same as before. It affected me. It happened to me too. I have always painted things that give hope, things that show life and the will to live. But since the war started, my art has become more about hope, life. It has shifted towards reflecting the desire for and the idea that we can resist and live normal lives,” said Colban. “My paintings are not directly related to war. Rather, they show humanity in the context of this war.”

The dancer is a symbol of this struggle, the Ukrainian artist pointed out. “The part of my painting is a girl dancing, but in reality this dance is a struggle and a battle. Along with the cobra section of the mural, it depicts the struggle and attempts to protect nature. , because I know that Brazil also has this battlefield of protecting nature. This painting shows an attempt to preserve the integrity of Ukraine, save Ukraine and at the same time save all nature. “There are,” Colban said.


The collaboration of Mr. Kobra and Mr. Korban on a mural project in Brazil celebrating peace and environmental protection was an initiative of the Institute of Ukraine Research, a government agency tasked with promoting Ukrainian culture, and commemorates two years since the outbreak of the conflict. Met. “This is our first project in Brazil, with the participation of two artists, one Ukrainian and one Brazilian. Through art, we are not only talking about the issues we have in common, but also about the issues we have in common. Because we can also talk about shared opportunities and power,” Alim Aliyev, deputy director of the Ukrainian Institute, said in an interview. Agencia Brazil.

“The war not only destroys many works of art, lives and destinies, but also destroys the ecosystem and environment. Today, Ukraine is considered one of the most polluted regions in the world. The entire democratic world. We understand that if we do not take action today to address this issue, we face a very bleak future,” added Aliyev, who also received permission from the Ukrainian government to visit Brazil.

The war has turned millions of hectares of Ukrainian territory into minefields strewn with shells and toxic chemicals, causing widespread environmental damage, said Andriy Melnyk, Ukraine’s ambassador to Brazil. Thousands of Ukrainians were also deprived of access to drinking water. “Two years after Russia’s massive invasion of Ukraine, the deliberate environmental destruction caused by the war has devastated not only the health, livelihoods and safety of people, but also vital infrastructure, natural resources and critical ecosystems. “This resulted in significant results,” he said in a written statement. statement.

In the opinion of the director of the Ukrainian Institute, art can be a powerful tool on the path to peace. “Artists are so important because every country, every nation is supposed to unite around a set of values. Art is essential because we can unite through trust. And what is this trust? “Trust comes from knowing the other person, their traditions, culture and customs. Only through art can we gain trust in each other.”

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