Happy New Year (2013)

December of 2013 was nervous and vague. It was cold, moist and no one has been murdered yet.

I did not know what to do. Donetsk was deep asleep. People in Kyiv fought against militia for a right for a better future, Maidan was a place of faith, it was extremely difficult to return from there into sleepy indignant Donetsk – nothing ever happened there and nothing could hint there is an exit from this lethargy. I was being torn between Donetsk and Kyiv and I was trying hard to hold back the tears when arriving at Donetsk central station. Nothing was happening. Everyone was looking forward to 2014 New Year celebration. I was on the verge of going outside and screaming. I was longing for them all to wake up. I was longing for them to believe there is another way.

I had no clear vision what to do but I had some felt and good handmade skills. I bought 12 square meters of cardboard and during one night made 49 felt New Year fir trees. I would have made more, I wished I could make a thousand of them or even a million, but it was dawn and I had 49 felt fir trees.

I made postcards. ЩАСЛИВОГО НОВОГО РОКУ (Happy New Year in Ukrainian) said each one of them. I chose Ukrainian on purpose, I could not have made another choice. I chose tender childish colours, I wanted people to be happy when they discover these postcards in their yards.

I installed them everywhere I could reach. Mostly in suburbs, but there were several in the downtown too. Those in the downtown were the least lucky – they were removed on the first evening. I was installing the postcard at 4 PM and it was gone by 6 PM. I used to return, take a picture of plastic cable ties that used to hold the postcard and leave. Some say they were actually presented later as New Year postcards. Sometimes I would find them in other people’s Instagram. But most of the times they were just torn off and thrown on the ground. The last one was destroyed on the 9th day. Three months later the war broke out.