Video: Celebrating the Great Patriotic War

This video and story below from science blogger Eric Michael Johnson is pretty cool, even if this kind of saccharine nostalgia for the war is waaay overdone, and not an entirely resolved aspect of the Russian psyche.

However, something miraculous just occurred. For almost her entire adult life my grandmother has been fervently anti-communist. To this day she still often refers to China as “Red China” (and we all know that it’s mostly brown, especially Beijing). But apparently an artist’s work was so moving that it caused her to forget what it represented: a memory of the “Great Patriotic War” that the Soviet Union was engaged in against the fascists. I must say that I am impressed as well. I am so impressed in fact that I am now passing on to you a forwarded link from my right-wing grandmother.

Kseniya Simonova is a 24-year-old contestant on the TV show “Ukraine’s Got Talent 2009.” In this live performance she creates a story of heartbreak and loss about the Soviet experience in the war. Using only sand and light Simonova shows the effects on individual women of a conflict that killed around 30 million people in the Soviet Union, roughly half of all casualties in the war. Simonova’s work earned her the top prize this year and an estimated €75,000.