Today a friend sent me an amazing email with a video link.   I felt it related to many of our topics we have been discussing here on Anti.  I am going to cut and paste Nancy’s (or whoever she copied them from) words and then post the link.  The woman shown in the video  is a sand artist.  The rest tells the story:

Please read the following paragraphs all the way through and then view the video…

This video shows the winner of “Ukraine’s Got Talent,” Kseniya Simonova, 24, drawing a series of pictures on an illuminated sand table showing how ordinary people were affected by the German invasion during World War II.  Her talent, which admittedly is a strange one, is mesmeric to watch.

The images, projected onto a large screen, moved many in the audience to tears, and she won the top prize of about £75,000. 

She begins by creating a scene showing a couple, sitting holding hands on a bench under a starry  sky, but then warplanes appear, and the happy  scene is obliterated. 

It is replaced by a woman’s face crying, but then a baby arrives, and the woman smiles again. Once again, war returns, and Miss Simonova throws the sand into chaos from which a young woman’s face appears. 

She quickly becomes an old widow, her face wrinkled and sad, before the image turns into a monument to an Unknown Soldier. 

This outdoor scene becomes framed by a window as if the viewer is looking out on the monument from within a house. 

In the final scene, a mother and child appear inside, and a man standing outside, with his hands pressed against the glass, saying  goodbye. 

The Great Patriotic War, as it is called in Ukraine, resulted in one in four of the population’s being killed, with eight to 11 million deaths out of a population of 42 million. 

Kseniya  Simonova says:  “I find  it difficult enough to create art using paper  and pencils or paintbrushes, but using sand and fingers is beyond me. The art, especially when the war is used as the subject matter, even brings some audience members to tears. And, there’s surely no bigger compliment.”

View the video


Our country has been blessed.  We have never known our cities to be destroyed and one fourth of our population killed.  Even our own Civil War didn’t destroy the entire country, although many Virginians, Georgians and South Carolinians might beg to differ.   

Sometimes it helps to put things in perspective, when viewing one’s country through the eyes of this very talented young artist.  How does one so young capture the horror of the world in the 40’s?  Those living in the Ukraine must have long national memories to be able to produce such talent.  It would be hard to tell where Stalin stopped and Hitler started.  Judging from the reaction from those in the audience, the feelings are still strong and very much a part of the Ukrainians’s national being.

21 Thoughts to “Amazing Talent Captures National Tragedy”

  1. Opinion

    Trust no one who lusts for power at any level. They do so at our expense… and we don’t understand their true nature until they achieve the power they seek. Then. it’s too late…

  2. Elena

    That was mesmerizing. What an incredible gift. Thank you for sharing M-H.

  3. The first time I watched this was a couple of months ago. I cried my eyes out. I have watched it several times since and always, at the least, break out in goose bumps. Glad you posted the video, MH.

  4. I just realized how very little I know about the Ukraine. They suffered before and after WWII also bcause of Stalin and then again because they got overrun by the Red Army. They lived under communism. That is a country that has known very little peace during the last century.

    What little I know has to do with the Holocaust from the Jewish perspective. However, the Ukrainians had their own personal Holocaust. I suppose it was ethnic cleansing. Do any of our contributors know anything about what these people were subjected to? I certainly must admit my ignorance.

  5. I had to go look at a map. There are European countries I have almost never heard of now.

  6. Pinko, it was the first time I had seen it, when Nancy emailed it to me. I thought it was just too good to go to the great email graveyard in the sky. HNY Pinko! Are you really in Bahston at the moment? Mr. Howler is a MA by birth person, but he grew up in Maryland.

  7. Poor Richard

    Ukraine, like Poland, has the geographic misfortune of
    being located between Germany and Russia – not
    a good place to be over the last two hundred years.

  8. Poor Richard

    “One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.”

    Joseph Stalin

  9. Shudder@ Poor Richard. Yup. It is sort of like being in the path of an….invading army.

  10. Much is made about what a ruthless bastard H1tler is. (notice how I sneak around the rules). Unfortunately, he pales by comparison in many ways to Stalin. The only reason he is ever cut any breaks is: 1. He was an ally of sorts, therefore it is embarrassing to admit what a hideous murderer he was. 2. USSR isn’t a conquored nation like Germany. There is much we do not know about nasty Stalin still.

  11. Wolverine

    Absolutely amazing when one witnesses the conjunction of heart, mind, and skilled and precise hands in the person of that young artist.

    Long before the Holocaust in Europe, Stalin was starving to death thousands of “kulaks” or free Ukrainian farmers and their families because they did not want to submit to the Soviet idea of collectivized farming, a theory which turned out, in my opinion, to be a major economic mistake of those in Moscow. Europe has seen “holocausts” before there was The Holocaust. It is just that the faces of the victims change.

  12. Elena

    Yes Wolverine, didn’t we have that debate here on anti once, who was worse, H1tler vs. Stalin? I would agree regarding Stalin, he killed many more people than Hitler, he just only screwed his own people, H1tler had a broader agenda.

  13. I would go so far as to say he screwed all sorts of people who weren’t his own. The Red Army marched into just as many places, if not more, than H!tler did. Many of those countries were independent nations. I can’t keep up with it all because many simply no longer exist.

    Yes, we did debate who was worse. I don’t think we came to conclusions. One of the worse fights I have ever had with my husband was over this very subject. Another close one was whether Jesus had brothers and sisters. That was when we were young and foolish.

    I don’t think there is an answerr as to who was worse. I think it all depends on whose ox was being gored. Perhaps our contributors will have some opinion on who was the biggest bastard/killer/maniac?

  14. Poor Richard

    An estimated 700,000 German civilians died in WWII
    compared to ten million Russian civilians, the
    majority from the Ukraine.

    Neither Stalin or Hitler showed any
    mercy for the Ukrainian people.

  15. Poor Richard

    And before the war? Suggest you Google – Holodomor Memorial in
    Washington D.C. .

  16. @Moon-howler
    Nah, I’m not in Bahston at the moment. But I grew up north of Boston and lived in MA my first 27 years of life. I’ve been in VA for ten years.

    Mr. Howler doesn’t know what he missed!

  17. Oh I meant the Red Army marching in both before WWII and after. Not sure if it was called the Red Army back in the 20’s and 30’s or not. Stalin saw to it that anyone who displeased or got in the way of his political ambitions.

  18. PR, does that stat include German Jews? How about percents of the population? How many million civilians in the battle of Moscow?

  19. Poor Richard

    WWII was the deadliest military conflict in history. Estimates of total
    dead range from 50 to 70 million.

    Google – World War II casualties – and there are pages of documentation.

    Very easy to lose the concept of individuals when the numbers of dead
    push into the millions. I find it hard to grasp.

  20. Wolverine

    One of the strangest things in all this is that the Ukrainians had been so mistreated and persecuted by Stalin that some of them initially welcomed the German Wermacht as liberators. That, however, did not last very long. Probably stopped as soon as the first SS and Gestapo contingents set up shop.

  21. I find it hard to grasp also….the number of dead. How do you phathom 10 million people. I have actually looked at the numbers. They all become a blur to me. I thought you might post some for discussion. @ PR

    Wolverine, I have read several places that Ukrainians are such beautiful people. If that young woman in the video is an example, I would have to agree. It is hard to think about Ukraine without thinking of Stalin and H!tler. I would like to know something about the country divorced from those 2 clowns.

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