Throughout the world, it’s been hard to avoid posters and advertising campaigns for the FIFA World Cup, which began June 14 in Russia. But this is not the case in Ukraine, which will not be taking part in the biggest tournament of the footballing calendar.
Encouraging Ukrainians and others to boycott the World Cup in Russia, Ukrainian artist Andriy Yermolenko has created a series of alternative posters highlighting some of the recent crimes of the tournament’s host country. These include the 2014 downing of flight MH17 over Donbas and ongoing support for the Russia-backed separatists occupying Ukraine’s eastern territories.
In his posters, Yermolenko replaces typical footballing images with scenes of violence and oppression: footballs appear as human skulls, nets are transformed into barbed wires and one silhouetted footballer tackles an opponent carrying a child in their arms.
Another issue depicted in Yermolenko’s art is Russia’s imprisonment of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who is currently serving a 20-year sentence for falsified terrorism charges.
“I did not expect this to have such resonance… The catalyst for the idea was Oleg Sentsov and his hunger strike, demanding the release of Ukrainian political prisoners,” Yermolenko told Hromadske, adding that “This is my personal protest, my boycott of the World Cup in Russia. This is what my conscience told me to do.”
/By Sofia Fedeczko