Screen Grab courtesy of UA Kids Today

Virtually staged Matterport 3D Tour filled with pictures drawn by the children of Ukraine. They provide us with a bit of insight on how these children are feeling in this time of strife in their lives. Some children are scared and fearful of the future; others are hopeful and see Ukraine and Russia being peaceful or Ukraine winning, allowing them to be safe and secure once again. More Drawings by Ukrainian Children | Matterport Tour courtesy of 3DApartment

Video: Refugee Ukrainian Children Drawings Displayed Within a Virtually Staged Matterport 3D Tour Gallery | Video courtesy of YouTube Channel | 25 March 2022

WGAN Forum Podcast #82

Refugee Ukrainian Children Drawings Displayed Within a Virtually Staged Matterport 3D Tour Gallery

Drawings of Children From Ukraine: A Campaign By Laura Ilioaei

Artem and Anastasia Bykovets are a couple who had resided in their home in the suburbs of Kyiv, Ukraine. They have two daughters: Sasha and Sofia, who are 2 and 6-years-old, respectively.

However, Russian fighter jets recently began flying over their house, spontaneously bombing the country they had all previously called home. Staying put was evidently not an option. These parents told their children that there was no choice but to flee. Sasha and Sofia were told to gather three of their favorite toys before they would leave and seek refuge in a safer country.

Though barely older than a toddler, Sofia was well-aware that the world she had known was under turmoil and chaos. Terrified and teary-eyed, she gathered her things, bade her room goodbye, and left it while crying the whole time. The family went into their car, and Sofia’s parents attempted to console her with soft words without sparing the honesty of the tragic situation of the war at hand. Sofia quickly found herself needing to find an outlet to channel her sorrow and anxiety.

This outlet manifested into using art to cope with her emotions. Sofia began to actively paint. Initially, it was on craft bags and napkins, but she quickly transferred to more digitized platforms on tablets and cell phones.

Artem and Anastasia realized that art had a cathartic power; when Sofia painted, she was too distracted to feel distressed. They realized that art therapy would be beneficial to other children like Sofia.

Many Ukrainian children are currently spending time hiding in basements and bomb shelters as opposed to playgrounds. Since they are young, they’re unable to verbalize their feelings. They’re disturbed by the disruption in their routine and the terrors of war. The uncertainties felt by their parents perturb them as well, as there is no authority figure that can guide them through the dangerous volatility of their situation.

Prompted by these truths and their own anecdotal evidence through watching Sofia, Artem and Anastasia quickly founded UA Kids Today. It’s a platform that aims to help Ukrainians by tending to their psychological and emotional needs.

Their emphasis is on the well-being of children. They’re currently launching an all-Ukrainian online virtually staged 3D gallery of children's drawings (See Above). These drawings are meant to show how children feel about war, exposing these insights to an international audience.

These drawings also empower children. Not only are they able to distract and cope with their experiences through the power of creativity, but they’re also able to be vulnerable with themselves in a healthy way.

By sharing their art on the [Matterport] platform, they’re also able to be a part of a community and have a sense that they are partaking in something greater than themselves. It’s a way to take back power in circumstances that can make a person feel utterly powerless.

A scroll through the [virtually staged Matterport 3D tour] gallery (above) is an insightful look into the perspectives of children. Adults often overlook the intelligence and observant attitudes of young children, and the gallery is proof that Ukrainian children fully comprehend how war affects civilians.

Many drawings are of peace symbols or of images that evoke peaceful messages:

1. doves holding olive branches
2. families in silhouettes united by hand-holding
3. a butterfly with the Ukrainian coat-of-arms drawn on one of its wings

Conversely, many images are also violent depictions or depictions of reactions to violence. Drawings of this category include:

4. soldiers with guns
5. war tanks
6. stick figures firing bullets

The [virtually staged Matterport] 3D gallery also includes drawings of:

7. bloodshed
8. individuals crying
9. heart symbols broken down the center with jagged edges

Regardless of the nature of the artistic depiction, they are all raw exposures to how these Ukrainian children are coping with war.

The site also has a donation page for those who want to help Ukrainian families. There is also a tab labeled Submit A Picture on the website where children’s artworks can be submitted.

The channel also features other child support initiatives, including a UA Kids Today Instagram channel with art challenges and advice from psychotherapists, as well as a Telegram channel with art lessons for young children.

This initiative is demonstrative of how human tenacity prevails even in circumstances as grim as wartime. It also does this without obscuring reality. This honesty is what makes it compelling. Consider supporting these children, so that they can one day draw solely for the purpose of art, and not for the sake of preserving their sanity in a time of instability.

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