The fact that yesterday isn’t over today can be sensed in almost every second. Our actions and sensations link back to something, the present appears like the head of a snake. Its long, rear body of history pushes it forward into the future, leaving traces where it has crawled: grave fields, monuments, cultures and technologies, joy and sorrow.
Through the exhibition “Riss durchs Leben” (“A torn life”) by the Landschaftsverband Rheinland we learned of traces of enforced labour during the Third Reich in ten Ukrainian women’s lives. We understood that yesterday isn’t over today, we understood that everybody hopes for a tomorrow without deprivation of rights and humiliation. We want to understand, to listen, to spread our results. WE are pupils of Johannes Rau School in Wuppertal, Germany, and School No 10 in Chmelnyzkyj, Ukraine. WE have worked on the subject of enforced labour since 2010 and exchange our results in common encounters, during which we work and celebrate together. Several encounters have already taken place.
The so-called hetman-stick, a symbol of Cossack sovereigns, became our emblem. We came across it everywhere in the Ukraine and we received it as a present for us guests in several versions.