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Ukrainian and Polish exhibit “Mom, I don’t want war!” in Tartu

We present to you incredibly moving testimonies of war – from historical drawings of Polish children from 1946, which are a record of their experiences during World War II and the German occupation of 1939–1945, preserved in the Central Archives of Modern Records in Warsaw, in the Ministry of Education complex from 1945–1966, and contemporary drawings of Ukrainian children, related to the war currently taking place in Ukraine, collected on the Mom, I See War portal.

Compilers of the exhibit, dr. Dorota Sadowska (University of Warsaw) and prof. Olha Kulinich (Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv), aim to show that war always looks the same through the eyes of a child: “Irrespective of place and time, it is a huge evil, and the child is always the victim of it. The similarity between historical and present-day drawings is striking. Children draw tanks, planes dropping bombs, fires, and explosions. They draw the injured and the dead, the ruined houses, the graves. They draw themselves and their family, they draw evacuation and escape. But they also draw hope and their
dreams for the future.”

By putting images and words together in thematic groups: fighting, occupation, family, repression, resistance, destruction, victory-hope, the compilers want to emphasise the fact of how similar the scenarios of the invading wars are. The time changes, the place changes, the child witnesses change, but the war is always the same. See more information at the homepage

There are 25 posters with drawings and texts in Polish, Ukrainian, and English displayed. Also, an educational program is available to follow the exhibit.

The National Archives of Estonia is grateful to the colleagues at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Tallinn for having the exhibition in Tartu.

We welcome anyone interested in our premises at Nooruse 3 from Monday to Friday at 9–19 until 23 February.