The Solidary Ukrainian and Lithuanian picnic and live graffiti drawing in the open-air gallery “No-Fly Zone“ * brought multiple events into a memorable one day program and marked several key occasions: the opening day of the international congress “CoHappiness. Rewilding & Rethinking”, the International Children’s Day and the opening of the longest open-air gallery in the Baltic states “No-fly Zone” (June 1, 2022).
The congress has invited us to rethink the concept of happiness, which became extremely relevant after the war in Ukraine has begun. Since then, many women and children have fled the war zone to seek refuge leaving their husbands and fathers to fight. Lithuania is one of their safe destinations. Ukrainian families are actively integrating into the labor market, education system and creating new habits of social and cultural life, however the process is not easy as the conflict in their home country continues. Therefore for us it is important to ease the process, to keep their spirit, to help them feel like home, even if only temporarily.
Another emphasis lies on the statement that no war actions are welcome. This open-air gallery is to be symbolically created in the former military aviation territory as a powerful artistic protest against brutality, war and all kinds of attacks on humanity, democracy and freedom. Local and Ukrainian artists were invited to make their statement and express their point of view through art and share it on the “No-fly Zone” wall.
Simultaneously, the children of Ukrainian families workshop took place in VMU Botanical garden. Children were invited to imagine and draw what happiness means to them. While the whole atmosphere was filled with the natural lightness that children carry along, they started singing the National anthem, which revealed an actual emotional message related to the situation at home saying more than any words ever could. As a follow up, one drawing was selected and transmitted to the open-air gallery (June 2, 2022).
These events were also accompanied by lectures and discussion of the international congress “CoHappiness. Rewilding & Rethinking” at Kaunas Fortress, Aleksotas (on board with AIIP territory). The discussion was dedicated to the topic of “Otherness as a precondition for happiness”. The congress focused on happiness as a precondition for forms of human communication and coexistence with humans and other life forms, species, and artificial intelligence in cities.
* This event is a part of the international congress “CoHappiness. Rewilding & Rethinking” organized by Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) and Kaunas European Capital of Culture 2022 (K22) in collaboration with T-Factor and 1K Fund.
- Co-creative and community-led meanwhile