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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

A patriotic graffiti

17 June, 2014 - 12:00
Photo by the author

Chernihiv underground crossings have been painted into national colors. A group of caring civic activists is painting state flags of Ukraine. They painted Taras Shevchenko’s portrait as well in the new subway of the city, near the Ukraina hotel. Not only do the colors of the sky and the sun appear in subways, but also on fences and facades of residential houses. The city is painted by volunteers. The action is financed as well by volunteers, ordinary Chernihiv residents. The activists do not take money from political forces as a matter of principle. “We raise the money to our card account in bank, but also during the actions people come up to us and help, not only with money, but also with paints and instruments,” says activist Maksym Lenko. “We want the residents of Chernihiv to feel like Ukrainians.”

Recently Taras Shevchenko’s portrait with the poet’s quotation emerged on an abandoned outhouse facade near the Stryzhen River, not far from the city’s center. The quotation reads, “Our thought, our song won’t die. People, here is our glory, the glory of Ukraine.” Below is a picture of Ukrainian churches and Mother Fatherland. The painting was done not by professional artists, but by ordinary Chernihiv senior pupils. The art action is a brainchild of a 10th form pupil Yevhen Burdelo. The picture on the facade was painted by five 16-year-old patriots. There are no professional artists among the young residents of Chernihiv, but there is a girl who is studying in the school of arts. She painted the most complicated part of the graffiti – Taras Shevchenko’s portrait. Incidentally, the young painters did not have enough paint at that moment. But all of a sudden they received a timely help.

“We started to draw with chalk the sketch on the wall,” Yevhen Burdelo says, “Namely at this moment an employee of ecological inspection saw us. The person was simply passing by and took interest in our work. On the next day we came to a meeting with him and brought the sketch of the work on a sheet of paper. Ecologists issued a permit, made an agreement with the employees of communal services, and the employees of the city electric networks gave us the paint.”

The activists are not going to stop on this. They say in the near future another work by them will appear in the city. “It again will be placed near the traffic area, not far from the city center,” the senior pupil shares his plans, “The picture will be considerably larger than the previous one.”

By Vitalii NAZARENKO, Chernihiv