Art for art's sake - Memory for the sake of memory

You really have to  see this video - if you haven't seen it already. It's gotten 2 million hits on YouTube and is becoming a world wide phenomenon.

It features the winner of the Ukraine version of "America's Got Talent" - a 24 year old dark haired beauty named Kseniya Simonova. Her talent is "sand table art" and in 8 1/2 minutes, she creates a mosaic so powerful, so moving, that she brings the audience to tears.

Watch and be amazed:

I have never seen anyone applaud art in the process of being created. But the cheers are well deserved. Obviously, as Americans we can only sense the emotional reaction of the Ukrainian audience and sympathize with the memories Miss Simonova evokes. 

Ian Johnston of the UK Telegraph explains why the mosaic elicited such a powerful response from her audience:

The images, projected onto a large screen, moved many in the audience to tears and she won the top prize of about £75,000.


In the final scene, a mother and child appear inside and a man standing outside, with his hands pressed against the glass, saying goodbye.

The Great Patriotic War, as it is called in Ukraine, resulted in one in four of the population being killed with eight to 11 million deaths out of a population of 42 million.

It was clear from the audience reaction shots that both young and old were affected by Simonova's searing images. No doubt stories of that horrific time had been passed down from older generations who actually lived through and survived the nightmare. That kind of powerful cultural memory is rare which is why it is so affecting. That, and watching the creative process as an art form itself makes this one of the most extraordinary videos I have ever seen.

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