The young artist and writer Yevgenia Belorusets was in her hometown of Kyiv when Putin's "special military operation" against Ukraine began on the morning of February 24, 2022. With the shelling of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa, and Kherson, the war with Russia had clearly, irreversibly begun: "I thought, this has been allowed to happen, it is a crime against everything human, against a great common space where we live and hope for a future." With power and clarity, the War Diary of Yevgenia Belorusets documents the long beginning of the devastation and its effects on the ordinary residents of Ukraine; what it feels like to interact with the strangers who suddenly become your "countrymen"; the struggle to make sense of a good mood on a spring day; the new danger of a routine coffee run.Â First published in the German newspaper Der Spiegel and then translated and released each day on the site ISOLARII (and onÂ Artforum), the War Diary had an immediate impact worldwide: it was translated by an anonymous collective of writers on Weibo; read live by Margaret Atwood on International Women's Day; adapted for an episode of This American Life on NPR; and brought to the 2022 Venice Biennale by President Zelensky as part of the pavilion "This is Ukraine: Defending Freedom."
About this Author
Yevgenia Belorusets is a Ukrainian writer, artist, and photographer who lives between Kyiv and Berlin. She is the author of the unsettling and illuminating" ( Washington Post ) collection of stories Lucky Breaks and the cycle of lectures Modern Animal (ISOLARII). Her photographic work has been shown in the Ukrainian pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2015 and 2022. She is a member of the Hudrada curatorial collective and cofounder of Prostory, a journal for literature, art, and politics. Greg Nissan is a poet and translator living in New York, and the author of The City Is Lush With / Obstructed Views."
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