Ukraine 'Art Weapon' show draws crowds in Berlin

February 26, 2023 8:17 am

A person stands in front of a video installation at the Art Weapon Festival, which showcase contemporary Ukrainian culture and various performances, created during the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the "Alte Muenze" in Berlin, Germany February 25, 2023. [Source: Reuters]

In a converted former mint in Berlin, crowds danced in a blaze of strobe light as a rapper hollered Ukrainian lyrics to punchy beats.

In other parts of the complex, revellers looked at painted bullet-proof vests hanging from the ceiling and queued for plates of Ukrainian dumplings and borsch served by women with blue and yellow ribbons weaved into their hair.

The ‘Art Weapon’ event – which opened at Berlin’s sprawling Alte Muenze complex on Saturday – also featured live painting by Ukrainian artists, Ukrainian-language theatre and the chance to sit for a Ukrainian tattoo artist.

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Running non-stop till Sunday morning, the marathon event sold more than 1,000 tickets two hours after opening, its organisers said. It’s aim – to show that Ukrainian contemporary culture has been flourishing since the start of the war.

He decided to apply for funding through a German organisation supporting cultural initiatives, allowing him to organise “Art Weapon” in Berlin.

In one room at the Alte Muenze, artist Vitalii Shupliak explained the meaning behind a work comprising two prints showing buttered bread with nails poking through the surface. The images are mounted on separate stacks of cages.

Reading “Famine comes with the sole of a Russian soldier,” the work represents both the impoverishment of Ukraine and the detached soles of Soviet-era military boots, Shupliak said.