Yuriy Gurzhy's wonderful reflection after the German premiere "Song fro Babyn Yar"

"Wenn ich meine Heimatstadt Charkiw erwähne, kann ich nicht darüber schweigen, dass es seit dem 24. Februar dieses Jahres kaum einen Tag gegeben hat, an dem dort nicht bombardiert wurde. Aber unter unseren Texten gibt es auch solche, die sich heute fast wie Prophezeiungen anhören, vor allem die Stelle, wo Mariana betont, wie wichtig es sei, eigene Geschichte mit all ihren dunklen Seiten zu akzeptieren und sich damit auseinander zu setzen, damit sie nicht wieder von den anderen manipuliert wird …"

A special concert for Ukraine will be held tomorrow during the Rudolstadt Festival, Germany's largest world music festival. Amazing, amazing musicians will join their talents and strength. I can not stop tocry, that Mark Tokar will be not with us.

Despite the very difficult situation, we decided not to give up this performance.

Why - I tried to explain in this my "statement"

I will begin this statement with the words of Serhii Zhadan, who will receive the German Booksellers' Peace Prize this year.
"It is clear that they came to destroy us. This is a war of annihilation. We have no right to lose it. If Ukraine does not win, there will be no more Ukrainian culture and art, no literature and music, no more Ukraine!"

Most of our artist friends do not currently have the opportunity to perform, give concerts, create performances and participate in art projects. Most of them made their choice and remain in Ukraine! They stay in Ukraine and, either with weapons in their hands or as a volunteer, fight for independence and freedom. They defend the CHOICE of Ukrainians to live in a civilized world, they also defend our peaceful life here in Europe,  so we can work, create, organize and participate in festivals!

Our friends in Ukraine are resisting, putting "body and soul", dying in the fight against the most barbaric army, whose criminal murders are supported by the majority of Russians!

Starting from 2014 and with greater force from February 24th, Ukrainian musicians in Germany joined this struggle - performing and organizing demonstrations and solidarity actions, collecting and sending to Ukraine humanitarian aid, funds to support the Ukrainian army, buying bulletproof vests and hemostatic (blood-stopping) medicines, taking care of refugees, oppose Russian propaganda, giving numerous interviews etc.

And that is why, on March 3rd, when the Rudolstadt festival approached me with an offer to perform a concert during this largest  world music festival in Germany, I suggested inviting all of us, our entire "musical battalion“, which includes
award-winning stars Ganna Gryniva, Yuriy Gurzhy, Sveta Kundish, Viktoria Leléka, Tamara Lukasheva, Melanka Piroschik, Alexei Volinchik.

Many thanks to the festival for responding and supporting this idea! And now on July 9th, 2022, a historic concert will take place - during which Ukrainian music, the Ukrainian voice, the Ukrainian message will sound powerfully!

When I write Ukrainian, I do not mean ethnicity, more than 100 nationalities create the the richness of our polyphony, which is inseparable from the Crimean-Tatar, Jewish, Greek and Romani melos!
Special thanks for the willingness to support the ensemble from Donetsk "Dyvyna", which are forced to leave their home twice, saving children and lives from Russian bombs and missiles.

This action of solidarity is certainly a significant contribution to the resistance to Russian aggression in our cultural field!

A few days ago, we learned that the Russian group Pussy Riot is invited to the festival as well.

We cannot hide how painful it is for us.
For years, Russian culture has been and is being used to cover up crimes committed by the Russian state. In a recent interview, the director of the Hermitage, using military vocabulary, directly speaks, that the presence of Russian artists in the world is also a "special operation" and that it serves Russia's imperial narrative.

That is why Ukrainian artists are now appealing to all cultural institutions in Europe and the world to refrain from presenting Russian art, at least as long as Russian bombs and rockets destroy our theaters, museums, libraries, kill and rape the civilian population in Ukraine!

That is why Ukrainian artists refuse to participate in discussions and projects to which Russians are invited.

Wouldn't it be a sign of true solidarity if Russian artists, including the Pussy Riot, would give up their performances and tours in Europe in favor of Ukrainian artists?
If they do not see the possibility and sense of addressing their own people, if they can not find ways, how to tell the truth  about this war and  how to stop their fellow citizens, then wouldn't silence be a more dignified and appropriate reaction?

As long as the war continues, as long as Russian society has not borne collective responsibility for the actions of its leadership and for the actions of its army, while children continue to die in Ukraine - such a gesture of goodwill would be the truest manifestation of sorrow, true support and respect for all Ukrainian fellow musicians who died at the hands of the Russians, and those who are currently fighting for survival.

Such a gesture could become an example for other Russian artists.

I mean, it is cynical to invite the director Serebrennikov to stage plays at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg. Especially after his scandalous remarks during the festival in Cannes.
It is cynical to organize a tour of Netrebko, who suddenly declares that she is "out of politics" and therefore cannot officially condemn the criminal actions of "her president“.

It is, the least, unethical to put Russian dissidents, who fled the country, live and work in Europe, in the same row with Ukrainians who remain in Ukraine, who resists,
who are killed.

Is it really impossible to bow  heads with a "minute of silence" in front of the terrible price that we in Ukraine pay for our desire to be free? Is it beyond the power of Russian artists to honor our heroic resistance in this way?

At the end, I will quote Serhiy Zhadan again: "We must win this war, we must protect our future. Therefore, now every manifestation of support for Ukrainian culture works for our victory.“

Mariana Sadovska


 We began a series of concerts of Ukrainian music in Körber Stiftung in Hamburg, presenting the legend - Eugene Efremov and ensemble DREVO! Main feeling - gratitude. The next stop with dear DREVO and DYVYNA  during a festival in Norway on July 6-7. Among other things, we raised 805 Euros for a new violin (instead of the one destroyed by the war) for Serhiy Okhrimchuk. Thank you alll We conitue to resists!

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