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Ukraine: Iryna draws war from her basement

2022-05-14T18:19:27.165Z

The illustrator: 'I use colors and humor, I no longer write in Russian' (ANSA) "The longer you sit in the basement, the more you want to climb up, spread your arms, spread your wings and take off." Iryna Potapenko is a Ukrainian illustrator from Odessa. Since the beginning of the war she has lived underground with her husband and her pets to shelter from the bombs, but for a month now she has found a way to escape: her drawings of her. Thus were born the "Chronicles of the b



"The longer you sit in the basement, the more you want to climb up, spread your arms, spread your wings and take off."

Iryna Potapenko is a Ukrainian illustrator from Odessa.

Since the beginning of the war she has lived underground with her husband and her pets to shelter from the bombs, but for a month now she has found a way to escape: her drawings of her.

Thus were born the "Chronicles of the basement", illustrations that reflect the everyday life of a conflict that has transformed the world "in black and white - according to her words -. This is why my drawings are saturated with colors".

And of irony.

"I try to bring out my sense of humor, hidden somewhere, like a shivering white rabbit."

A birthday cake brought to her husband moving on all fours so as not to hit his head on the low ceiling, pets watching her while she takes a bath because, in such a small space, there is little privacy.

There is all this in her drawings.

Even for the two dogs and four cats, Iryna and her husband decided to stay in Odessa, despite the fact that, when the war broke out, "we thought about going abroad".

Since the Russian invasion, Iryna's life hasn't changed much: "I painted before and I paint now, but the hours spent in the basement have been added. I can work here too, it's like we were in 'Alice in Wonderland': we have jars of jam, shelves, ladders. Instead of the White Rabbit, my ;; husband Alex. True, he doesn't have a pocket for his watch, but he has a flashlight, a pickaxe and a respirator. "

In addition to the style, something else has changed in the illustrator's stories: the language in which she writes.

In fact, throughout her life, Iryna spoke Russian, like many people from Odessa.

Now you have chosen to switch to Ukrainian: "To restore the vocabulary, I asked my friends to recommend modern Ukrainian authors to me."

The first book she read was "Toreadors from Vasyukivka", a volume of Ukrainian children's literature about two boys lost in the Kiev subway.

At the end of the conflict, however, Iryna often thinks.

The Odessa-based illustrator already knows what she will do when this happens: "A friend of mine from Kiev promised to take me on a sports plane after the war. We were about to fly last summer, but we didn't have time. Now I'm waiting for us to win,

Source: ansa

All life articles on 2022-05-14

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