The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)



----- Original Message -----
From: "Morgan Williams"
To: "Valentyna Khudoliy"
Cc: "Helen"
Sent: Saturday, November 01, 2003 9:39 AM
Subject: Evaluation Holodomor Stamp, New Approved Variant by Marka Ukrainy

Holodomor. Ukraine. 1932-1933. 45 kopiykas


November 1, 2003

Valentyna Vasylivna Khudoliy, Director
Directorate "Publishing House Marka Ukrainy USEP UKRPOSHTA"
Khreschatyk, 22, Kyiv, 01001, Ukraine


Dear Director Khudoliy:

On Wednesday, October 29, 2003, you sent out a memorandum announcing the new approved draft variant of the decorative postage stamp 2003, "To commemorate victims of the Great Famine 1932-1933."


The original approved version of the stamp had featured a photograph of a Russian family of five taken in Russia during the 1921-1922 famine.


We wish to communicate to you that the evaluation of the new draft variant has been very negative by most of those who have seen it and the best than can be said by many is, "at least it does not feature a photograph of a Russian family."


Most of those who have commented on the new variant of the holodomor stamp have very strong negative impressions especially about the face shown inside the cross.


The following are typical of the comments we have received at the UKRAINE REPORT 2003 and the ArtUkraine Information Service (ARTUIS) in Kyiv and Washington.

    (1) "In summary the composition is poorly selected. Obviously the artist of this version never experienced famine and has no heart in it. There is no feeling of tragedy in this face. The more I think about it the more discouraged I get."

    (2) "I think the little girl looks like Steven Spielberg's ET. Or it looks too much like the person in Edvard Munch's famous painting, "The Scream."

    (3) "The face on the newest Holodomor stamp is not of a starving person. There is no suffering in it. Just a face of a thin but well preserved woman. I am so disgusted with those indifferent people that do not know how to show famine."

    (4) "I think it's perfectly awful."

    (5) "A definite improvement I could live with. The face, however, reminds me a bit of ET!!

    (6) "I must tell you that the new stamp is not all that impressive...the white cross as background at first glance looks like a floppy white hat! Quite frankly, the original stamp had a much more visually penetrating impact...except for the Russian family."

    (7) "Indeed, it looks like ET frozen inside an ice-cube."

    (8) "The new stamp design is certainly not world class work for sure. The face inside the cross is just not right, just should not be there the way it is at all."

    (9) "It's the most grotesque stamp I've ever seen."

    (10) "Surely this is not their best work. The artists in Ukraine are much better than this I know. This is not an adequate tribute to the millions who were starved to death."

    (11) "The image of the young girl just is not correct. The photographs I have seen of starving children do not show those wide dark rings around the eyes. They are really strange looking on the stamp. The skin on the face is certainly not of a young girl dying of starvation."

    (12) "The face inside the cross is not good for this stamp. It almost looks like the concept was copied from the face in the famous painting "The Scream" by Munch. The face of the young girl as it is now depicted is just not the image that should be used to commemorate this most tragic of events."


We do not know for sure if this is going to be the final version of the stamp or if Marka Ukrainy is open to other images. The announcement letter stated, (1) "would like to give you some information concerning the draft of the decorative postage stamp," (2) "the publishing house presented 4 new variants of the stamps. One of the offered drafts was approved by the counsil," and (3) At the moment the approved variant of the postage placed on the official website."


We strongly recommend Marka Ukrainy not move forward with this approved variant but to go back to the drawing boards and create a another new version for this very important stamp to commemorate the millions who died in the genocidal famine in Ukraine during 1932- 1933.


We know from other Ukrainian stamps produced in the past few years that Marka Ukrainy and its artists are capable of producing world-class stamps. What has been produced so far for the holodomor stamp does not meet this high standard for sure. What is needed is an outstanding, world-class design for the new holodomor stamp that truly does portray the great human tragedy that took place in Ukraine during 1932-1933.



E. Morgan Williams, Publisher and Editor
ArtUkraine Information Service (ARTUIS)
P.O. Box 2607, Washington, D.C. 20013
Tel: 202 437 4707,
Office In Kyiv: 380 44 212 5586
Mobile in Kyiv: 380 50 689 2874

Letter Sent To: Valentyna Vasylivna Khudoliy, Director
Directorate "Publishing House Marka Ukrainy USEP UKRPOSHTA"
Khreschatyk, 22, Kyiv, 01001, Ukraine
380 44 229 59 30, 226 34 93, FAX 380 44 229 21 82