This little story of a young woman, with a lovely child captures in a few words the Ukrainian tragedy: the catastrophe nobody ever wanted. Just look at how she frames her reality: "As … painted them to be.” Painting the other in a dirty war of words is a very effective way of robbing the other of his or her humanity. On the one side, painting the other as 'facists, banderites', on the other side, 'separatists, thugs'. The truth is, as Ira shows, that this 'painting' is just what it is: throwing with cliches, deforming real humans to a caricature of what they realy are. You can't symphatize with a caricature, with a 'facist' or a 'seperatist', but you can shoot him.
"We are peaceful people who are fighting for their freedom", says Ira. I know an Ira from Lviv, and I know her very well, who could have said the same - she actually did. The one Ira is painted as 'pro-Russian', the other as 'pro-Ukrainian'. It's a bloody shame that the painters of this All-Ukrainian drama have only blue and yellow and red and white pigments. They rob my both Iras of what they realy are and want: young Ukrainian women who both want to live in a peaceful Ukraine, that respects them and offers them them the possibility of a decent life. Not a life of fear.
In the end it is all about masks. It is no coincidence that Ira is a woman with a human face who moves me. It's a relief to see her face and 'hear' her voice, in stead of the abundance of pictures of men with masks who are hiding their humanity. I'm getting every day more fed up with this war of masks. As long as we keep wearing masks, we keep shouting and shooting. We keep painting the other in untruthful, inhuman colours. Ira doesn't wear a mask. That's why she deserves a statue.