Persistence Will Pay Off: A warrior woman will persist through even the most difficult times. She knows who she is and holds on to traditions that connect her to the land and her community.
This woman is from the Ukraine, late 1800's and her image called out to me many months ago, before Russia's horrifying invasion and attempt to occupy Ukraine. It has been emotional to work on this piece at this time because I am feeling so much anguish for the Ukrainian people, and also the Russian people who oppose this action. I am heartbroken in the face of the reality that war and military actions never seem to end, and millions of people will continue to be displaced and many will lose their lives. The damaging power of Imperialism remains strong.
I am so inspired by this woman's image. She is resolute, determined, and her spirit of steadfast bravery speaks so strongly to me. My sense is that she "shall not be moved", that she is a fighter for freedom with the goal of safety, independence and stability for those she loves. Over the past week, I have seen this courage and determination demonstrated by the Ukrainian people again and again.
Ukrainians have a history of resistance to occupation and imperialism such as their fight for independence against the Bolsheviks in the early 1920s, a guerrilla warfare campaign against the Soviet Union in the Second World War, and many feats of heroism with the 2014 Revolution of Dignity against Russia’s invasion of Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
I know that many powerful examples of Resistance will emerge as the weeks go by. One that stood out to me is a video of an unidentified woman confronting Russian troops to ask why they are there, and suggesting they place sunflower seeds in their pockets so that flowers may bloom where they fall on the soil of her beloved country.
For more of the history of women in the Ukraine: