This video shows the winner of “Ukraine’s Got Talent”, Kseniya Simonova, 24, drawing a series of pictures on an illuminated sand table showing how ordinary people were affected by the German invasion during World War II. Her talent, which absolutely defines ‘off beat’ is mesmeric to watch. The images, projected onto a large screen, moved many in the audience to tears and she won the top prize of about £75,000.
You can go and watch it and come back here to find out more about the images shown, or read this first. Either way, I promise you that you will not regret the eight minutes you give to this woman’s art.
- She begins by creating a scene showing a couple sitting holding hands on a bench under a starry sky, but then warplanes appear and the happy scene is obliterated.
- It is replaced by a woman’s face crying, but then a baby arrives and the woman smiles again. Once again war returns and Miss Simonova throws the sand into chaos from which a young woman’s face appears.
- She quickly becomes an old widow, her face wrinkled and sad, before the image turns into a monument to an Unknown Soldier.
- This outdoor scene becomes framed by a window as if the viewer is looking out on the monument from within a house.
- In the final scene, a mother and child appear inside and a man standing outside, with his hands pressed against the glass, saying goodbye.
The Great Patriotic War, as it is called in Ukraine, resulted in one in four of the population being killed. In real terms, this was nearly 11 million deaths. I was struck as much by her music choices (and recognized the final song).