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Ukrainian woman artist's self-portrait inspired by the Holodomor, Ukrainian famine/genocide by 1932-33. The portrait is rather dark and somber.  The expression on the woman's face distraught. The face itself unhealthy, with sickly skin tone and dark under-eye circles. The paintingis mostly made up from collaged various paper products that usually get recycled or discarded.
**click portrait to enlarge**
(collage painting on cardboard, 28X34, 2009)

"Descended from the survivors of the forgotten genocide"

The concept behind this painting comes from my work in raising awareness of the Holodomor. 'Holodomor' translated from Ukrainian means 'death by starvation'. It's a term used to describe a little known genocide that took millions of innocent lives in the 1930's. In early 1933 Ukrainians were dying from man-made famine at a rate of 25,000 a day. Half of them were children. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union was exporting enough grain from Ukraine to have fed the entire population.

The artificially created famine was largely ignored by the West and eventually erased from history by the Soviet government. The records were destroyed so there could never be a real estimate of all the lives lost in a period of a little over a year. It is estimated that anywhere from 3 to 10 million people perished. Ukraine, the breadbasket of Europe lost millions of its citizens to forced starvation and up to this day there are very few people who are even aware of that. There are survivor accounts of people hunting for mice, eating their pets or, as horrifying as it sounds, the corpses of their own dead children.

Why should I care you might ask? You should care because it wasn't that long ago and people who stayed silent were not that much different from you and me. They were smart and educated, and yet they did nothing to expose the Holodomor. For example, there was a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Walter Duranty, (the Moscow Bureau Chief of The New York Times out of all things), who chose to cover up the fact that millions of Ukrainians were starving. You should care because history tends to repeat itself. ...and guess what? Because something very similar is happening in this world right now in countries like North Korea. The North Korean population is starving, while the government officials have everything. Just as it was in the Soviet Union. The party leaders feasted on caviar, while my countrymen dropped dead on the streets from hunger. Starvation is a good way to control your people. After all, it's hard to raise upraises when all you can think about is how and when you can get the next meal to feed your children.

Learn more at: http://holodomorct.org

"The so-called lessons of history are for the most part the rationalizations of the victors. History is written by the survivors."
Max Lerner

"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
George Santayana

"One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic."
Joseph Stalin

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
Edmund Burke