Licking War Wounds (2016 – 2021; with Andrii Dostliev)

This tank-shaped salt lamp was purchased from a souvenir shop in Bakhmut in late 2016. Bakhmut (formerly Artemivsk) is a city in Eastern Ukraine famous for its salt mines. For a short period of time in 2014, the city was under occupation by Russian terrorists from the so-called DPR. Various salt lamps always were a large part of city’s souvenir industry, but this particular kind, in the shape of a tank, has only appeared recently, after the city was liberated by the Ukrainian army.

Such tank-shaped souvenirs are only a minor aspect of general traumatisation of the Ukrainian society caused by the war lasting since 2014. This traumatisation is yet to be overcome by the Ukrainians, a very long and complex process that might take many years. One of the many war wounds that we have yet to lick.

And we were literally licking (yes, physically licking this salt tank with our tongs) this particular one, day by day, bit by bit. This slow and quite painful process demonstrates the slow and not necessarily successful re-shaping of the object of trauma.

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This project was published as a book by 89books (Palermo) in 2022.
Order your copy from the publisher’s online store or contact me for a signed copy.

Weeks 1 — 12