The winner of “Ukraine’s Got Talent,” Kseniya Simonova, 24, draws a series of pictures on an illuminated sand table showing how ordinary people were affected by the German invasion during World War II. Her unusual talent is mesmeric to watch.
The images, projected onto a large screen, moved many in the audience to tears and she won the top prize of about £75,000.
She begins by creating a scene showing a couple sitting holding hands on a bench under a starry sky, but then warplanes appear and the happy scene is obliterated.
It is replaced by a woman’s face crying, but then a baby arrives and the woman smiles again. Once again war returns and Miss Simonova throws the sand into chaos from which a young woman’s face appears. She quickly becomes an old widow, her face wrinkled and sad, before the image turns into a monument to an Unknown Soldier.
This outdoor scene is then framed by a window, as if the viewer is looking out on the monument from within a house.
In the final scene, a mother and child appear inside and a soldier is standing outside, with his hands pressed against the glass, looking in.
The Great Patriotic War, as it is called in Ukraine, resulted in a quarter of the population being killed — eight to 11 million deaths out of a population of 42 million.
You can view this remarkable and emotional tour de force at http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=vOhf3OvRXKg. Φ