Since we finished painting, I’ve been thinking about the discomfort. That I do feel resistance to leaving permanent traces in the city, in these nice places. But I realize the discomfort is something we always try to escape from. Especially facing the war, we think about our comfort, our safety, we discuss fuel prices, we worry about gas, and inflation. But, in fact, our comfort and all the beautiful facades that we’ve built partially led to the war. And the desire to maintain them at all costs prolongs it, as well as other conflicts in the world. So my reflection is that the Ukrainian flags should not be on our streets at all. There should be no spraying on the walls. Because there should be peace. In the present situation, however, these are the uncomfortable, eye-catching scars that are necessary. The necessary discomfort.
I thought about it on Plac Wolności (Freedom Square), because that’s where people come to watch concerts at the National Forum of Music, where they walk for leisure, roller-skate, dance… do all sorts of comfortable things… but that’s also where the marches of All-Poland Women’s Strike in which I (Em En) participated began. And I thought then the discomfort was necessary because it is part of freedom, peace, and democracy. There is the court, police headquarters, and prosecutor’s office on the other side. Looking at Ukraine, but also Poland, we are strongly reminded that these values are fragile and are not given to us forever and unconditionally.
Em En, with Helen von Rosen