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Daniil Fronchko



How did you experience war in 2014? What do you remember from that? How old were you? How did 2014-2015 go for you?
Please tell this story in detail.

Although I am from Rubizhne, when I was little my parents moved to Luhansk almost immediately, so I stayed there all my adult life until 2014. I was 19 years old then. I studied, went to an art school, it all started in Luhansk. I remember being very nervous. Some awaiting of very radical life changes was felt, as if in the air. That something is about to happen. It was strange to go to the college as usual in May 2014. Once, I remember, I came to the painting class and was just sitting alone, because some provocations were getting planned in the city that day. I tried to quickly get all my semester grades to close the school year early, because dad was feeling it coming better than we did, I guess. He told us to go to Kyiv with mom and my younger sister, and then when everything was calm again, to come back. But this "when" never happened in Luhansk. At first they occupied my little homeland — Rubizhne. Everyone was very worried about their relatives, grandparents. But back then - in 2014 - things were not the same as right now - this small town was left unharmed. Very quickly Rubizhne, Severodonetsk and Lysychansk were won back thanks to the Armed Forces, but Luhansk was more difficult to take. I have no idea what was going on in the city at that time, because we left pretty much right before the events that had already resounded loudly throughout the country. It was uneasy, sitting in Kyiv: will we return home? What's next? When will this happen? Where will we live?.. And the main worry was that for some time dad still remained in the city. He first left for Rubizhne, where everything was already calm, because the Ukrainian flag stood in the center of the city. We met all together already in Kyiv a little later.I had to finish my education - I studied in Luhansk at the art faculty, so I decided to transfer to Dnipro, where there was also a college. Although at first I did not know how to adapt to the new place, I was received there very cordially; my soul felt calmer, especially in the circle of friendly artistic relations, where everyone was doing what they loved. It gave hours of enjoyment of really different things. And thoughts about returning home soon began to fade little by little. But there are still moments when I imagine a de-occupied Luhansk, where I walk around the city again, as before.

"Where were you these 8 years?".
How has this time passed for you, what changed in your life since the events of 2014?
What has influenced you the most during this time?
Please write in detail.

Many things have changed: my parents’ place of residence; how often we started visiting Rubizhne again... It must have had a stronger effect, because I adore some places, especially the village near Rubizhne, where I spent all my childhood in the summer. Therefore, in my art practice I return to the same motives. These last 8 years I worked on it only in the summer. That's why I waited for each summer again and again. To compare current and future ones. My worldview as an artist was greatly influenced by the people I met already in college in Dnipro. My attitude towards some things in art has changed. What once seemed special became secondary, and—just like that—what seemed secondary got more significant. After graduating from college in 2016, I entered the Academy in Kyiv, where I started all over for myself as an artist. A new place, a new breath of creativity. There were many creative searches, there were many meetings that influenced my worldview and art practice. Throughout my studies, the colors, motifs, and form changed according to my condition, but it seems to me that the thirst for life in my works stayed the same. That's why I always want to return to those places that I know best, that are closer to me, but where I find something new for myself again and again.

What was February 24, 2022 for you like?
Did you believe that a full-scale offensive would begin?Where are you now? What do you do?

What do you think about your future now?

On February 24, I was at home in Kyiv. I did not follow the events in society at all, the latest news. That's why I heard only rumors: will it happen or not?... Well, we all already know that it did. Now I am in Kyiv, continuing to work creatively as much as I can. It is very difficult to make some light things, as I used to before the war, because now it is very hard to find the inner strength for such a push. I have only recently begun to think again about my future as an artist. Therefore, only after such thoughts did I start to make something again, working on my previous creations and other things.

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