Russian animators have come out hard against their country’s decision to invade Ukraine.
First, hundreds of Russian animation artists, young and old alike, joined with Ukrainian artists to release a collective statement, both online and in the Russian media, protesting the war.
Now, over 100 Russian animators have banded together to create a series of anti-war anijams. All of the shorts released to date are included in this post and more films are forthcoming.
This is the full statement from the Russian animators who are involved in the project:
We believe peaceful methods are the only answer in resolving any conflicts between countries. Everything that is happening right now in Ukraine is a horrible tragedy. There is no way to justify this terror the war has brought to peaceful Ukrainian people on our behalf. We urge to stop all the military action against Ukraine immediately! We demand Peace! We demand respect for the territorial integrity of Ukraine! We demand respect for human life in every country of the world!
The artists involved in the project are remaining anonymous because dissent in Russia is closely monitored and police in Russia have arrested thousands of anti-war protestors in the past week. However, one of the animators involved in the project has come out publicly and given an interview to the Austrian publication Moment. Though she has chosen to make her name public, out of an abundance of caution for her personal safety, Cartoon Brew will not be reprinting it on this site.
The interview, however, can be read here and it’s worth doing an auto-translate of it to English to get a first-hand perspective of life in Russia for artists at the moment. Here are a few excerpts:
I’m scared, like everyone here right now. But the work, our project, that helps at least a little. We don’t sit around and do nothing. … It’s been like this for years, but not to this extent. We have also become more cautious since [opposition leader Alexei] Navalny has been in prison. But Russia has been oppressing political, ethnic and cultural minorities for centuries, and this is not a new phenomenon. It got better after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but we’re back to that era now. It breaks our hearts that it’s happening again. … Society is completely divided in Russia. Many young people know what is really happening, but older generations are particularly susceptible to propaganda. The younger generation is trying to open the eyes of the older ones. A lot of people who didn’t know that Putin is an asshole are changing their minds. Because they themselves experience the consequences of war. But especially young people are taking to the streets, especially young women and even children. I saw a kid get arrested, maybe 10 years old.
To keep up to date with the project, follow Animators Against War on Instagram.