I have recently begun connecting with pysanky artists and teachers in Ukraine – learning more about their stories on the ground amid the war on their homeland. One theme that has been reoccurring in these conversations is the inability to find and purchase supplies due to supply chains being cut off during this time.
Pysanky writing is an ancient, spiritual and important cultural heritage tradition in Ukraine. The designs are filled with intention as they are written onto the egg. The designs, symbols and colors that are used all have deep meaning and symbolism to both the writer and receiver of the pysanky. It is also a very meditative practice that brings peace of mind, positive intentions, and a moment of calm amidst the chaos. Art has the ability to heal during times of conflict and trauma, and pysanky writing is a way that families, communities and individuals can practice this tradition that is deeply embedded in their heritage and find moments of peace.
This fundraiser has been set up to raise funds to purchase and ship pysanky supplies to those we have been in contact with in Ukraine. We have spoken to several artists in Western Ukraine in Lutsk, Khmelnysky and Kosiv, some of who are also teachers who have directed us to local art centers where supplies can be shipped for the community to utilize and enjoy during these trying times. We are staying in touch with them throughout the conflict to ensure mail services are still working in order to get the supplies to where they need to be.
Supplies will include kistkas, dyes, beeswax, candles, and blown eggs if possible as it was advised these are either in short or no supply at this time in certain areas in Western Ukraine. Funds will also be utilized towards shipping costs to ensure the materials get to where they need to be. Upon completion of the fundraiser – supplies will immediately be purchased and shipped to the teachers we have been in touch with through the Pysanky For Ukraine Facebook group. We plan to stay in touch after shipping, so we can monitor that supplies have gotten to them safely.
I hope, that in addition to the other initiatives the Pysanky For Peace Project has started to help support humanitarian aid on the ground in Ukraine, this fundraiser can also provide a different means of support to those who are still in Ukraine who are still working to write pysanky. While there are many efforts supporting much needed medical and military support – I believe it is also important to provide support that helps to allow cultural practices to continue, especially those that can offer a moment of peace in the middle of a war.