A Dictionary of Emotions During War Time

7 June 2024

‘A Dictionary of Emotions During War Time’ is a sound and video art work based on a text written by Elena Astasyeva, an Ukrainian artist who lived in Wexford not long after the outbreak of the Russian invasion of her homeland. The text was first performed in the Wexford Art Centre in 2023 at a fund raising event for Ukrainian refugees with Sasha Bratkova, a member of the Ukrainian community here in Wexford, reading the text and Simon Quigley, a pianist and composer providing a musical accompaniment.

Elena wrote the text in order to give voice  to the experiences of finding her country being invaded and at war and the emotional physical and mental upheaval she felt on finding herself being unable to live in her own country. An experience that most Irish citizens have never had to come to terms with. And as Irish artists based here in Wexford, myself and Simon felt that by collaborating together with Sasha we would create a sound and video work using the original text to produce a permanent document which could be used as a way to highlight the effects war can have on ordinary people and help make Irish citizens more aware of the suffering and trauma of asylum seekers coming to this country for help and support.

The work will be launched in Wexford in the Jerome Hynes Theatre in the National Opera House on June 7 with the screening of the film along with a performance by a Ukrainian Choir.