Marina Bondas, a violinist from Berlin, came to eastern Ukraine to help save people through music. “It seems to me that music and arts really matter,” she explains standing in the ruins of a flat destroyed by shelling. “Though food and warm blankets are important, art is similarly a basic need – something people don’t realize at first. But once there is none, its lack can be felt.“ In Germany Marina plays for the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. In Avdiivka, Marinka and Krasnohorivka she plays for those who know what war is all about. It is already her fourth visit to the Donbas frontline.
“Music and art give hope and inner warmth the power to fight and survive,” Ms. Bondas believes. “That’s why I have the desire to help people. Maybe they won’t feel it instantly, but I want to give them strength for the future, to carry on, to hope, to fight, and to build a new life and world.”
“In such places it is easy to forget about the world, civilization, and about all the wonderful things. It’s important to remind people sometimes. One gets used to terrible things fast, but it’s very difficult to get rid of them.”
When she arrived in Avdiivka with her humanitarian mission – she couldn’t foresee the recent escalation. “I had a lot of plans,” Ms. Bondas admits, “concerts at schools, rehabilitation centers, concerts for medics, military, volunteers etc. Because of the recent escalation these plans were unfortunately canceled.” So she played in the homes of those people whom she was able to reach. The worst days of shelling she spent in the flat of her friends in Stara Avdiivka.
“The shelling will cease at some point, but the war in the people’s minds will remain. That is why something has to be done about it. One has to give people the opportunity to overcome their traumas and express their emotions in a peaceful way. And in my opinion music and art are precisely such ways,” the artist concludes.