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Misha Zavalny prints photos in the darkroom at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris on April 7, 2022

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Misha Zavalny, classmates, and the artists they hanging posters on the wall for their graduation project at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris on 28 May 2022

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A vessele containing one of the chemicals for printing photos in the darkroom of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris on April 7,2022

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Misha Zavalny prints photos in the darkroom at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris on April 7, 2022

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THE RED INK

Iphone project

 

The ancient lithography machine, more than 100 years old, survived several world wars. Big atelier, filled with memories of the artists for past centuries, the smell of ink, the sound of stone rolling it over the other, separated by a layer of sand, preparing for new work. You feel the weight of the Place, the prints on the paper affixed to the walls. All this atmosphere makes you feel stable and comfortable, making you not want to leave the Place. 

 

In 2017 I met Misha Zavalny at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and we were students at the same stage. After two years, we started working in the Lithography atelier. We graduated together in 2022. During this time, we exchanged many information and ideas about the Ukraine and Iraq wars and the art impact in conflict zones.

 

When the war began, things changed a lot.

 

Misha Zavalny says

 

From the first days of the full-scale war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine, we started a war poster project with my friends in the lithographic studio at Beaux-arts de Paris. Later many people who supported Ukraine's fight for freedom joined us. By creating a poster in the techniques of traditional lithography, everyone could express themselves as an artist and contribute to the creation of this historical visual content that reminds society of the horror of war and the need to act to condemn this aggression. It's essential in this context and community because the image has an informational and emotional impact, especially the drawing. These images were very clearly able to express the state of people directly affected by this war. Therefore, the original printing technique was not used by chance as a way of their distribution and message. This way, posters, and illustrations were created at the beginning of the last century during the first and second world wars. In the same way, today's war in Ukraine should have the same brutal echo in the eyes of  European society, which observes the war from a safe distance and still does not represent a personal problem for many. The emergence of this project in the urban environment of Paris or at the walls of various serious institutions in different cities of France clearly showed the connection and support between the people of Ukraine and Europe not only on the official level but, first of all, on the human level.

 

 

The sound of war, memories that have a lot of impacts on your daily life.

 

Immediately after the declaration of war, Misha participated in an anti-war demonstration in the de la Republique in Paris. Misha started a with he is poster project; he invited people to make posters with him in the studio. At the same time, I visited the Ukrainian border for nine days with Juliette Corne to see the Ukrainian refugees on the Medyka border and document the event. After that, I went back to school. After that, I started to follow Misha to do a documentary film project. Misha began to hang posters with his friends and the artists, he worked with Ukrainian actor Sasha Ivanov who used the posters to protest, and the effect of the Posters led to the eventual closure of the Russian Film Festival in Paris.

 

Time passes, the pressure intensifies, fate is not visible, inspiration is lost, the focus is blurred, and ambition is over.

 

In April 2022, Misha and I went to the Polish border again with posters and T-shirts with anti-war messages to be delivered to Ukraine and distributed to activists and anti-artists. We met Sasha Pechenka he is an exiled blogger and activist from Russia. He lived in Poland and gave Misha a couple of days to join the team as a volunteer at Medka camp, helping the people who arrived from Ukraine every day.

 

Trying to tell the story during the war is very important, but it is also difficult. Art in times of war, expressing yourself, what are the tools? The   Mishas Zavalny story shows the significant shift before and after the war. How it affected the artistic concepts of several artists, you talk about war, take responsibility, and use your tools and not just be a spectator.

 

 Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris، Lithography atelier, the artists around this project expressed what it means to be an artist and a human being.

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