Kathrin, Viktor and Christoph met when working together on the artwork for a joint scientific publication. When the war in Ukraine started they felt they cannot stay silent. A visit at the exhibition of street artist JR sparked the idea for the Make Europe Not War project. Thank you JR!
Kathrin is a scientist who has lived and worked in Germany, Peru, France, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. She currently lives together with her son Leo and her husband Matthias in Austria. Grown up at the French-German border, she has always loved border regions where you can feel the cultural exchange in the DNA of the people. Where you experience the wounds of the European past, the challenge and excitement of the ongoing Integration, and the opportunities of Europe’s future.
Viktor was born in Ukraine but lived half of his life in the UK working as an academic, enough time to start appreciating English humour and marmite. Then the first war in 21st century Europe started and from the raw pain of the first weeks he realised that Ukraine is still his home. Would he still live in Ukraine his two conscription age sons could be carrying javelins right now, he had to do something to help millions of Ukrainian sons and daughters. The country where the geographic centre of Europe lies and that currently defends European values. His Ukrainian friends immediately joined the project and started making graffiti on the ruins of the Ukrainian towns of Bucha, Irpin, Borodyanka and Invankiv.
When Christoph declared in a Russian court more than 10 years ago that he would raise his adopted twins in the spirit of freedom and cultural bridging, he never dreamed that one European country would start a war against another. The graphic designer and lecturer has studied in Germany and UK. He lives and works in Marburg. Inspired by English, French and Spanish creatives, he uses digital media to search for social tasks such as the Forum Anja Niedringhaus in memory of the German war photographer. So it is a honour for him to design the street art icon for Europe.