Less than a kilometer after you enter Irpin, you are confronted with the stark reality of war as you are greeted by a heap of cars that have been bombed and burned out in the war of Russian aggression. The vehicles were relocated from various locations throughout the city… often from the side of the roads. I’m told these were not cars people died in, though one cannot help but wonder.
This empty lot was previously where people came to practice their driving skills. Now it is home to a wide assortment of vehicles that did not survive the war.
After visiting the city for about a week, I noticed some changes. So I crossed the street on foot and took a closer look. It appears that sunflowers had begun to spring up in the midst of these vehicular ruins.
About eight years ago, Paul McCartney recorded a song for a video game. The song was called Hope for the Future and in it he sings, “Hope shines brightest in the dark.” So it is in Irpin, artists have begun painting sunflowers in the darkest places of destruction… places that have been hit hard by the war. Against the backdrop of the dark, hard core depravity of man’s heart where hope shines brightest, Ukrainian artists use their brushes to remind their compatriots of who they are and what they are about… a nation of people who feed the world, care for each other, and hope for freedom. Yes… Ukrainians…
… but not only Ukrainians.