With “More Than Us” you can see the blue and yellow street piano straight from the 2014 Euromaidan Revolution, the imagery of Ukraine’s endangered animals and plants blended with traditional ornaments and the iconic tower of the Donetsk International Airport devastated by the war. Alongside is the portrait of renowned actor Bohdan Stupka and a depiction of a real house from the frontline town of Avdiyivka. This is how an international group of street artists view Ukraine. Regular commuters follow their progress, as the massive mural gradually spreads on the grey walls of “Osokorky” metro station.
Mata Ruda, originally from Costa Rica, worked through the night to complete his piece, one dedicated to the Crimean Tatars.
“This project came about because I was really interested in Tatar culture and I had met some people last time I was here. So I decided to make a painting to represent this issue in the history of Tatar on a large scale. I didn’t see many other murals in Ukraine representing this culture. So I wanted to do something. So when I was approached for this project I asked if I can make this my theme. I conducted research and was in contact with different cultural workers of Crimean Tatar people,” a street artist Mata Ruda said.
As soon as the last train leaves the station, the artists get back to work.
“Well, I think the girl just embodies, representing the culture. it’s like a new beginning. She is more as a symbolic representation of a Crimean Tatar. Flowers, tulips and the sky are all from Crimea” Ruda said, contemplating his work.
The mural should be completed in about a month’s time. The nearly 2,500-square-meter-composition will cost around $130,000. As part of the campaign “More Than Us,” it should create an environment to strengthen the unity and lift patriotic spirits of regular Ukrainians.