Kseniya Simonova is a performance artist specializing in sand animation. Sand animation is the type of animation that refers to two methods of creating moving pictures as well as films of sand art. One method deals with an actual animation technique, and the other deals with capturing the act of painting with sand on a film. Simonova is known to do with the actual animation technique. Simonova’s art is creative although it sounds easy and watching her performance on Ukraine’s Got Talent competition , she told a simple story using a handfuls of sand and this had the effect of bringing the judges as well as nearly the whole audience to tears. This is because her performance provided some insight into Ukraine’s tangible history as well as the collective memory of conflict. Although this story is decades old, it had an emotional effect on the live Ukrainian audience and global viewers who watch the video online.
The message she was passing across was a message dealing with the destructive nature of war two on the families of soldiers as well as the atrocities. She recounted how Germany conquered Ukraine during the second world war where she brings calm followed by conflict. She shows a couple on a bench becoming a woman’s face, a widow weeping for an unknown soldier and a peaceful walkway which becomes a conflagration. Simonova works like some deity as she destroys and then recreates the scenes with sprinkles, strokes as well as sweeps keeping the narrative going. Her final scene known as ”you are always near” moves the judges to tears. This is an eight minute sand story of a young couple separated by the war, this young Lady and her little Son kept waiting for the father and husband to come from war, but unfortunately he was killed. At the end of it, he comes to their window and watches them with a sight of hope and love. The audience’s reaction to this sand animation show clearly shows that she has achieved her goal as an artist especially if we take art to have a purpose to provoke a reaction, illuminate the world in a different and new way as well as to alter and affect the consciousness of the viewers. The aim of Kseniya Simonova in performing the sand story was in memory of the fallen soldiers who saved Ukraine, her country, from the Nazi. This was also a tribute to her great-grandfather who died heroically in 1943 while defending his motherland. During the competition’s semifinal, Simonova’s hands worked very fast and nobody knew how emotionally hard it was for her because nobody knew what was going on in her soul. After finishing her performance, applause came from everyone in the hall.