‘Hi, it’s okay. It’s been quiet here, no bombing yet, and only when we hear sirens do we hide in the cellar. Don’t worry, everything will be alright soon.’
My name is Tasha – I am a Belarusian artist, and I am currently in Ukraine. It’s been snowing today, and that makes me happy because it feels like I don’t want spring to come while the war is going on. THE WAR! The Russian military is bombing Ukraine, killing civilians, 2022!
March 5th, morning. Last night I had a wonderful dream, I dreamed of my whole life: from the village where I grew up to Kyiv, where I spent the last six months. The dream was very bright and sunny, as if all the most precious moments of life suddenly decided to come back in flashbacks. When I woke up, for a couple of minutes, I didn’t understand where I was at that moment. It gave me an unpleasant feeling that I dreamed that my death was already waiting for me around the corner.
I moved to Kiev in the summer of 2021 and a couple of months later fell in love with a Ukrainian. I have never felt so peaceful and secure with anyone, as good as with myself. One person has become a whole home for me, and I think it is now clear that I do not want to leave my home here, and I have firmly decided to stay in Ukraine and will be here until the very end. For the first time in my life, I can’t care exclusively only about myself, about my safety.
I’m not scared at the moment. We have been living in a small town in the center of Ukraine for ten days already, and these have been the longest ten days in our lives. Emotions are in flux: from anger to guilt, from anxiety to calmness, but we keep up cheerfully. I personally spend every day with the thought that in a couple of days I will be able to return to Kyiv, to my workshop, and continue working on my projects. All my belongings, materials, equipment, and paintings remained there. And we all have learned how few things a person needs, or rather, that things are not necessary at all.
February, the 24th, night. I woke up from a loud sound and the rattling of windows in my room. I recalled explosions I heard and saw in Minsk, but that time it was even worse. The whole earth was trembling. I got up, gathered everything I needed and left home. I walked to the subway, people of different ages were sitting on the platform, some of them were crying. It was the most horrible day in my life. On the same day in the evening we left Kyiv, and it was terribly scary to go, scary to be on the street, scary everywhere and always.
Now I am not scared anymore.
Tasha Kotsuba became one of the artists selected by our project to participate in the residency program in Gothenburg in 2021. First due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now due to the war in Ukraine, the artist is forced to postpone her trip to Sweden. We hope that Tasha will still be able to get to Gothenburg in the coming months. And until the physical stay at the residency becomes possible, we decided to work with the artist remotely.