UKRAINE 1933: A COOKBOOK

Linocuts by Mykola Bondarenko

publisher "Historical & Educational Complex"

of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
South Bound Brook, USA

UKRAINE 1933: A COOKBOOK
"
In Remembrance of the millions of Ukrainians who perished during the Great Famine - Holodomor in Ukraine 1932-1933.

Introduction by Oleksandr Kapitonenko,

Simferopol, Ukraine


"From early childhood Mykola Bondarenko loved to listen to the old people reminiscing about village life in old times. Having learned about the Holodomor, he attempted to reproduce it graphically. But he was not satisfied with the few sketches he made. The artist wished to tell about this tragedy in his own, different way.

He considered the fact that although entire families and entire villages were annihilated by the Holodomor, some individuals managed to survive. What was it that helped them defy death by hunger while next to them their relatives and friends perished? He went around questioning the old-timers whp told him about their unbelievable "menu". Thus, he found the answer to his question; he decided to portray not the emaciated peasants, but rather the "food"they were forced to ingest in order to survive.
At first he tried to paint several more common weeds which wereconsumed by the starving people,raw or prepared.Then he turned to producinga series of graphical depictions of other vegetation. His sketches contain drawings from nature of cough-grass, clover, hemp, sweet-flag, burdock, rush (cane), nettle, thistles, lime tree and acacia buds, etc.


From them fifty engravings have been made. Almost each engraving depicts a window, the cross-like frame of which symbolizes the heavy cross carried by those condemned to death. Every windowpane symbolizes the hope to survive the Holodomor. On such a background are depicted weeds and some other plants consumed by the starving people during those horrible times. On the right windowpane there is a "recipe" for preparing this ersatz food.

Several of the engravings show the self-made tools, which helped the peasants to chop, grind, sieve, squeeze, and othewise prepare the weeds. To own such tools meant risking one's life.

The most touching and alarming for the viewer are the depictions of domestic animals - a cat or a dog - fleeing to who knows where, so that they would not be caught and eaten, carcasses of dead cows or horses which the starved populace did not hesitate to eat; and the panicked eyes of fledging birds in a nest which is about to be robbed by the hand of a starving person.


Noticable in these engravings is the absence of any accusations of those who wrote the scenario of the famine and of those who too eagerly helped in this criminal action. Only the sickles and hammers on the iron rods with which the village activists probed everywhere looking for hidden grain of the peasants point to the cause of the Holodomor. And also, the blood on the knife blade reminds the viewer that we are dealing with a horrible crime.


UKRAINE 1933: A COOKBOOK UKRAINE 1933: A COOKBOOK
Hooks and crooks of different length were used by the activists to look for buried grain and other valuables in the garden and indoors, under the floor, by the stove. They poked and looked, and looked, and looked...
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The blood on the knife blade... we are dealing with a horrible crime...
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UKRAINE 1933: A COOKBOOK UKRAINE 1933: A COOKBOOK
Pussy-willow buds were dried, put through a sieve, mixed with water and flour and baked into flat-cakes
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Maple leaves were dried on the stove or in the sun, crushed, put through a sieve, mixed with water into dough from which flat-cakes were made. Bark was dried, crushed, put through a sieve, mixed with flour and water and made into flat-cakes.
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UKRAINE 1933: A COOKBOOK UKRAINE 1933: A COOKBOOK
Dogs were caught. Barking of dogs could rarely be heard in the villages, they were all consumed.
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Children delirious from hunger would catch and eat all sorts of bugs, chafers, butterflies, moths, etc. Caterpillars were gathered and eaten with leaves
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UKRAINE 1933: A COOKBOOK UKRAINE 1933: A COOKBOOK
Grater. Chief implement to make flour. Used to grate grain, chaff, bark, dried leaves. This instrument was to be found in every homestead. Such implements had to be taken apart and carefully hidden after each use so that the activists would not find them.
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Oil mill. The entire family would sit on the upper bar and press oil. This process was technically simpler and would not be heard by the village activists who walked the streets at night and listened and spied on everything that was going on. After the process was finished the oil mill would be taken apart and the parts hidden in different places so that the activists would not find them

GRAPHIC ARTIST MYKOLA BONDARENKO


Mykola Bondarenko was born in 1949 in the village of Dmytrivka in the Sumy region, Ukraine. His professional studies were completed in 1972 at the Kharkiv School of Art. After graduating the artist moved to the village of Uspenky where he taught drawing and worked as an interior designer.
Currently the artist works as a graphic designer with his primary media being the linocut, both black-and-white and color. The artist's works have been exhibited in Ukraine, Russia, Poland and Slovakia. He has taken part in joint exhibition in Italy, Germany, France, Belgium, Great Britain, Bulgaria and Latvia.
The themes of Bondarenko's works are varied: portraits, landscapes, illustrations to literary works. Cycles of works include "Ukraine 1933: A Cookbook", "Slovo o polku Ihorevim" (Epic of Ihor's Campaign), "Shevchenkiana", "Khata moya, bila khata" (My House, White House). The artist is currently working on a series entitled "Znyshcheny Hram" (Ruined Temple). Aslo, he continues working on the series of portraits of the Sumy region citizens.

UKRAINE 1933: A COOKBOOK UKRAINE 1933: A COOKBOOK
Artist Mykola Bondarenko explains his linocut artworks about what people in Ukraine were forced to eat during the Holodomor 1932-1933 to the members of the Public Committee for the Commemoration of the Victims of Holodomor.
Kyiv, December 2003

UKRAINE 1933: A COOKBOOK
Mykola Bondarenko and Morgan Williams, a member of the Public Committee for the Commemoration of the Victims of Holodomor and owner of the private Holodomor Art Collection, met in Kyiv, Ukraine, December 2003, to discuss Mr. Bondarenko's extensive research and artworks about Holodomor-genocide 1932-1933 in Ukraine

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Soft cover, format 21x28cm
Price: US$ 13,00 plus postage
The funds received from selling this book will be used for publishing the album "Holodomor Through the Eyes of Ukrainian Artists"

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