For those who have not seen this artistic vision of the Great Patriotic War (WW II), I thought I’d repost it today. It’s a must-see. A friend sent it to me earlier this year:

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 an original 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 $125,000.

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.

This is best watched in full-screen mode. (Read more of the story below the video.)

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 is holding a letter.

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. The final words are ‘You are always near’.

The Great Patriotic War, as it is called in Ukraine, resulted in one in four of the population being killed, with eight to eleven 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.’

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