On my way to Kiev’s Airport 2012

There is war in Ukraine and Putin’s war machine is grinding a country into gravel. Two years of pandemic hardship stays with us and we still have not recovered. Reports scream that the climate is deteriorating more rapidly than scientists have expected – only eight years remain to the point of no return. 

But I am an optimist

I see bullets tearing holes in the hope for the future of a young person. The differences between those who go luxury-shopping and those who can never indulge themselves are abyssal. I hear increasing numbers of young people speak of feeling a lack of security.

But I am an optimist

I am growing older every day, just like you, and I know that my artificial heart valve is on its last legs. Tick tock. My loneliness is suffocating and many times I am afraid of the dark. My friends and my loved ones; we see each other too seldom. Don’t we?

But I am an optimist

Because I feel hope when I see the cracks in the façade of Russia’s autocrat. Confidence in him is wilting on live-TV. Ukraine will win itself. The icy fear of the pandemic melts away and gives way to a real spring; the first in a long time. The climate will get another chance because we realise that Tellus is a finite entity. And I know we will meet again.

Because I feel hope

A young generation born in the new millennium is on the way. They refuse to be afraid any longer. They believe in the undeniably beautiful and they desire something that we have yet to be able to put into words.

Sure, there are signals that indicate that something horrible can happen even here. In our country. When I still claim to be an optimist perhaps you think that I am a naïve, non-strategic, ignorant, maybe even a banal dreamer. Well, so be it, because despite this hell and all our wicked problems I sing.

The fact is that the insights that I have gathered over the past 30 years serve me well in this deep darkness. It is my mission to try to analyse, see and hear things that others are not able to bear or even sense. To dare to believe in the future. To dare to do more than succumb to Houllebecq’s dystopias. To dare to be an optimist. It will not be easy and we will be sorely tested. But after a long and drawn out winter a jubilant sense of spring is certain to come. I see it in my data, signs and weak signals. That day is coming.

That is why I, despite all my flaws, faults and shortcomings am an optimist.


Mural painting (Kiev Art Biennale 2012)