On Friday, 14 October, at 15:00, in front of the Russian Embassy in Riga, will be opened the exhibition "Mom, I Don't Want War!" of the Polish-Ukrainian Archives Project.
The exhibition will feature historical drawings by Polish children from 1946, depicting their experiences during the World War II and the occupation. The exhibition will also feature drawings by Ukrainian children reflecting their experiences of the ongoing war against Ukraine. These drawings are held by the Archive of Contemporary Historical Documents in Warsaw, Ministry of Education, Department of the 1945 –1966 documents.
Today, the archive of Education Historical Documents in Warsaw holds more than 7,000 drawings on war theme. Most of these drawings were made in the first post-war years, and the children drew them for the researches commenced in 1946 by their teachers and for the competition announced by the weekly "Przekrój" with the approval of the Ministry of Education at that time.
"War always means pain, suffering and loss. But it is children who are most at risk in war. War robs them of a happy childhood and sometimes of their lives. Laughter, carelessness, cosy homes, walks with friends – that's what childhood days should be like. But children see war "unvarnished" – schools, kindergartens, hospitals and homes are being destroyed by enemy's missiles in front of their eyes. They see relatives and friends die. In drawings that touch deeply the heart of each person, children express their true emotions and experiences. One of the tasks of adults is to listen to children and understand their experiences during this difficult time. Project "Mom I see war!" was created to show war through the eyes of Ukrainian children and to draw the world's attention to the brutal invasion by Russian invaders", say the organisers.
The project includes more than 10,000 children's drawings about war and peace in Ukraine and aims to capture what children experience during the wartime in their own country and show the world how strong young Ukrainians are. The range of emotions of the children reflected in the drawings, from fear and despair to hope and faith in victory, shows one thing: no child should suffer because of war, children deserve happiness and love.
The opening event will be attended by Edvards Smiltēns, Vice-Chairman of the Riga City Council, Oleksandr Mishchenko, Ambassador of Ukraine to Latvia, and Łukasz Cudny, Temporary Chargé d'Affaires at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Riga.
The project's cooperation partners are Riga City Council, Embassy of Ukraine in Riga and Embassy of Poland in Riga.