Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
Postcards from Maidan is an art initiative that helps facilitate the psychological rehabilitation and physical recovery of patients. Artists visit the wounded and use drawings as a storytelling mechanism of Maidan. The wounded are later presented with the drawings. This is the story of one Maidan protester. In this case, the artist is a photographer. This is story # 23.
Vitaly, a 34 year old construction worker from Sumy:
“I was on Maidan as of December 4, 2013. I saw everything that happened there – picket lines, the bloody meatgrinder. The question arises: was it worth doing this? Innocent people died. I got wounded on the morning of February 19, 2014. I had three in the neck, and three in the hand – not bullets, but pellets.
On February 21, they took them out. Or rather, I took them out, by the Trade Unions House. When they wounded me, I just fell. People told me later that I had been indignant. Whether they had the right, or not – does not make any difference. I was lying there wounded next to murdered people. Lead pellets, they even had “AKs.” From the October Palace everything was visible – they shot to kill. Someone lowered their shield down for a minute – and that was it, the helmet few off.
It all started on January 19. And exactly a month later, again. You wanted to go to Europe? Now it has reached Crimea.
I speak Russian, I’m from Sumy. I would love to go to Lviv, very much so. Their language… I got embarrassed when I heard the guy from Ivano-Frankivsk talking to a man from Lviv. [They talked] so beautifully, you could never say it like that in Russian. And in Crimea, they went too far …
I came to Maidan myself. I was initially at the Kyiv City State Administration. When the guys ran from Lyuteranska Street to make a “chain,” the Berkut [riot police] were there. It was the first defeat. December 13-14. I heard so myself, when a Berkut policeman said, “Guys, leave, you will be attacked.”
I had all of my things there, at the Kyiv City State Administration. I had a place to go at night. I went to the October [Palace], there were guys from Odesa there, it turned out they were from the “Svoboda” faction. I stayed with them until February 16. And then I left and went to the Self-Defense. Before, I wore civilian clothes, and received hits to my head repeatedly. The Self-Defense dressed me properly: I received a bullet-proof vest.
On Hrushevskiy Street, when the stampede began, I said, “Guys, whomever owes me – I forgive everyone.” That’s how I was, joking around, but what else could I do? When I feel bad – I dance.
There was a net before the barricades. The armored vehicle (BTR) drove straight into the barricade, and everyone is standing on the barricade. And the armored vehicle is driving, shooting at the same time. It stopped by the Sberbank. But not for long, they burned it right then and there.
I got lucky: found a box with “stinkies” – bottles with ammonia. I came to our guys and say to them, “Guys, [Molotov] cocktails – are so last century.”
I was on Maidan until February 21. I came over, and had my bandages changed. Then, they gave me painkillers. Then, the complications started. Out of interest, I went to the “Ukraine” Hotel, to see what was happening there. There was a clinic there. They helped me.
I don’t have any documents, nothing in hell. Everything got burned down. What a beautiful coat I had.
I do love life.
Cruel times – cruel people. Only nothing is clear yet, who will win…
Initially, there was no leader. The guys stand on a barricade, and the armored vehicle is driving by.
[People in the vehicle] ask them:
– “Have you seen the MPs?”
– “No, we haven’t.”
And they keep standing there. What now?”
Artist Myroslav Vayda talked to Vitaly at Kyiv city clinical hospital #12. Myroslav is currently working on a project that will focus on the history of Vitaly’s story.
Postcards from Maidan is an art initiative that helps bring support through truthful images of Ukrainian protests in different regions of the country, and also tells the stories of people who suffered during events on Maidan this winter in Kyiv.
The project consists of two elements:
#postcards from maidan
The Postcards Project contains a series of cards based on works of contemporary artists. Artists who participated in protests on Maidan create works reflecting on the events and as a message to fellow citizens. These cards may serve as support and a means to bring the spirit of protest to one’s relatives and friends in any part of Ukraine or the world. They are distributed on Maidan and available to everyone for free download in a format suitable for printing.
#stories from maidan
In The Stories Project, contemporary artists visit hospitals, talk to people [protesters/activists] and work on an artistic embodiment of their stories from Maidan. Activists receive these works as gifts by which to remember the events. This project is documented; the stories may later be used by various media. Through social networks, with the help of journalists, volunteers and the project’s website, organizers of this project help to recover lost contacts and enable protesters to learn about each other.
Postcards from Maidan was founded by Kadygrob_Taylor Platform for Contemporary Art, an independent non-profit. Source: http://postcardsfrommaidan.org/about