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Georgij Melkinov _ Sunset Gunther option 1.jpg
Edition #2
Networks and Labyrinths
Sunset Gunther
Edited by Laurine Heerema

Hope for Peace

I met a giantess, while walking past the deserted Red Square. She sat there holding up a sign that said "No to War" in Russian. I asked what her name was, but she didn’t answer, maybe because her mouth was sealed. She was made of silver, about 15 feet tall, and silent like the bloody red square I was standing on. I couldn’t forget this encounter and when I reached my home in the centre of Instagram, I started to search for her. Soon I found out that she was in the friends list of my manager Georgij and seemed to be affiliated with the Artificial Museum. In my research I also found out that she was first seen on the moon. She must live a “jet set” life, I thought, she must be something special. Her name on Instagram is Nadezhda Miru; in Russian that has two meanings: "Hope for the World" or "Hope for Peace". She exists in Augmented Reality. That means that she is a filter we can choose to put on the reality that surrounds us. The reality, which has never felt so grim and dark, like it has for a month now, when the Russian government decided to start a war in Ukraine. A war without common sense; as if any war ever had a common sense. A present for all the warmongers in the world. A filter of madness and despair. A way reality should never be augmented. And yet, it seems that the augmentation broke the artificial barrier and spilled out into reality, like a leaking oil tanker that spills dark crude oil onto the white ice of the arctic pole cap. The sirens are howling in the distance, reminding us about the catastrophe and we reply by reposting the gruesome sound, filling up the echo chamber of our social media bubbles.

Who are we helping when we, every ten minutes, repost the tragedy we witness from afar? Are we becoming the dark crude oil that covers the surface of the ocean, blocking the light that the inhabitants of the sea need to stay alive? While doing my research on Nadjezhda, the Instagram  stories of my friends are filled with the most gruesome, latest news from the front line: “Massacre in Bucha”, “Read Amnesty International Report about War crimes”, “New Evidence of Rape and Torture Committed by Russian soldiers” . When we share, when we repost, are we creating compassion or numbness, anger, despair, consciousness, or escapism? Maybe it's just everybody for themselves, lonely heroes in self-therapy, because in front of the doom scroll, we are all alone. Maybe it's that we must all suffer together, reliving the worst of this war, to show we didn't forget about the ones we left behind, because, in our pain, we are all united. We are the press, we are the war press, we hope to motivate to fight, to resist, for the good cause, for justice, for liberation, for denazification, for our nation! Notifications piercing the minute of silence, echoing in our filter bubbles. And that brings me back to the peaceful giantess Nadezhda, sitting on the moon, holding up her sign; hope is a silent survivor.



Fig 1 SG.JPG



1. An ongoing Art Project and a Platform for Augmented Reality Artworks, that is located in different cities on earth and since recently also on the moon

2. Nadezhda Miru is a an Artist and “Gesamtkunstwerk” (roughly translates to “total work of art” in German) whom you can follow on IG @nadezhda_miru or visit her website to find out more about her.

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