Kristina Andres draws animal pictures for Ukrainian children | NDR.de – Culture

Status: 04/13/2022 12:03 PM

The book “Mice and Winter, Bear Snow” by Christina Andres was published by Krokusverlag from Kharkiv, among others. Since the beginning of the war, she has been supporting the employees of the publishing house – and paints animal portraits for Ukrainian children.

By Heike Mayer and Siv Stippekohl

It has been held since the beginning of the war Kristina Andres contacted three women from the Crocus publishing house in Kharkiv. Artist, illustrator and children’s book author from Dobbin bei Dobbertin in Mecklenburg publishes what her Ukrainian publishers are going through. She charts the reassuring desires of animals and orchestrates the rescue of Ukrainian children’s literature from war.

“Making books is about sharing stories with each other,” artist and children’s book author Christina Andres wrote on Instagram on February 24, 2022. In addition, she published two photos of the same cover of her picture book “Mice Winter, Bear Snow”, an Austrian Hippo version, next to the licensed Ukrainian version of Krokusverlag in Kharkiv. “I always feel like a little miracle when one of my works appears in a foreign language. A gift. A peace sign.”

On this day, the story of Kristina Andres and her support for three women from the Ukrainian publishing house Crocus begins. “On that day, there was no indication of how bad things were,” Andres says. On the first day of the war, I heard on the news that Kharkiv was under fire.

War instead of children’s book fair

She writes to Nargis and Anna, wanting to know if they are okay. The two Ukrainians fulfilled their dream in 2019, and after many years of working in large publishing houses, they founded their own independent publishing house of European and Ukrainian children’s literature. Irina also worked at Crocus Publishing. Christina has been in contact with the three women several times a day since the start of the war. The three women were actually planning their first trip to the International Children’s Book Fair in Bologna at the end of March. Another licensing agreement for Cristina Andres’ work was also to be negotiated in Italy. But then the war began. Not a single Ukrainian publisher was present in Bologna this year.

For the first few days, Anna sends the photos and asks Cristina Andres to post them on her behalf. She is hesitant. Should these images appear? She did not think for ten minutes and complied with the request. One of the photos shows an armored car belonging to Anna’s friends. Many pictures of Kharkiv are dark, high-rise buildings do not have cellars. One photo shows Nargis’s 12-year-old daughter sleeping in the bathtub – to protect her in the event of a bomb attack. Christina Andres does not publish this photo. stay private. Later, she’ll remove the war pictures so kids can’t see them there.

Escape from Kharkiv by train

The publisher Nargis speaks only Ukrainian and Russian. So Cristina Andres communicates with her daughter Lilia in English and talks to her. It is recommended to leave the city. The child replies: “We don’t have a car, we can’t leave.” But only a day later, Nargis and her daughter are already making their way on a train. She sends a picture of Lilia at the train station to Christina Andres in Mecklenburg in her quiet studio on her cell phone. “It was a picture we all know: lots and lots of people locked up, lots of bags and I thought: Oh dear!”

Drawing of an elephant girl Lilia

She sends Lilya a message, asking if she has a favorite animal and if she should draw it for her. She wrote: Please draw me an elephant! Kristina Andres tied. In the evening, she puts a photo of an elephant girl online, in a skirt, flying, spraying a rainbow with her torso. This is followed by many wishes that the artist fulfills for children. She paints a lizard for Timothy, a wolf for Nikita, a penguin for Polina, a cow Lily.

I will draw these animals for as long as it takes.”

The artist presents the photos with a short greeting: “This is your cow. I hope you like it. Love and hugs, Christina.” Cristina Andres says love and hugs are important to her, “because I think every kid needs that right now.” She briefly writes to her followers what she knows about children who want to draw an animal. For example, Lily is 12 years old. When she was two years old, she got a baby cow. She took them with her when she ran away, that was the most important thing for her. In the photo by Christina Andres, Lily sleeps peacefully, smiling and struggling on the back of a huge, fat cow wearing yellow and blue soles.

Ukrainian flag is part of all pictures

The colors of the Ukrainian flag appear discreetly in all Andris’s animalistic desires. “This was important to me from the start because it’s just about this: This Ukrainian culture should be eradicated. It’s very clear. It’s just a small sign, but I just want these kids to know they mean Ukrainian kids, they know who they are and where they belong”, Andres confirms.

In addition to portraits of animal wishes, the illustrator and author documents the path of the Three Women from Crocus Publishing in Kharkiv in short, succinct texts, “Come on what might happen. I never know in the morning what message I will find on my cell phone and I am always happy when there he says: We Fine. “

“Every morning Irina sends a Whatsapp message from near Charkiv: We are fine. It only means that no one was hurt. Safe house […] As we were writing that day, Irina had to interrupt because there was an explosion. There were no bombs, as I mentioned minutes later, our defenses got something out of the sky. […] Sometimes it’s quiet, sometimes the noise of guns steals sleep and nerves […] Anna packed the car again and left Barcelona yesterday morning. I get the map pins out of the way again. […] Spring is also coming in the Carpathians. Nargis sends pictures of Saffron and Lilia in front of a wild stream. I saw the first pictures of Lilya about four weeks ago. On one of them she slept in the bathtub to protect herself from the bombs, and the next day she was sitting on the train […] Now I see a girl smiling softly for the camera, much less a girl than before.”
Tina Andres on Instagram March 26, 2022

Nothing yet Save books from bombs

After a detour through Spain, Anna in the meantime reached Germany. Narcissus in western Ukraine with her daughter Lilia. Irina stayed in a small village near Kharkiv, looking after other refugees for weeks under the most difficult conditions. And you want to get the publisher’s inventory out of town and move the books to safer places. That was the plan, and it has been put on hold for now.

On April 8, Christina Andres wrote in her short diary about the three Crocs wives: “The rescue of the books must wait. Irina accompanies her daughter-in-law and young grandson to Transcarpathia, to the western tip of Ukraine. Everything is different after Bocha. The two must be taken to land Safety “I will be right back afterwards, they need me to help the refugees,” Irina wrote.

Help for Ukrainian publishers and children

But Kristina Andres long ago secured digital printing data from Crocs Publishing in Kharkiv. to fall condition. It is looking for ways to help Ukrainian publishers. Find support from Marcus Weber from Moritz Publishing House. From the very beginning of their history, he has been reading about women from the Krocus publishing house in Kharkiv on social networks and thinking about the aid program “Adopt a Ukrainian Book”, which was looking for supporters at the children’s book fair in Bologna at the end of March.

For the project, Cristina Andres sends him the printed data for a book from Krocusverlag, which she really likes. “It’s a stroke of luck,” she says, “we know these pictures from mothers who come to us with their children, which is why I hope and wish that we have found just the right book that will now come to Ukrainian children will.”

Mom alone will be released ‘in May

Moritz-Verlag from Frankfurt am Main takes over the Ukrainian book Krocusverlag, which will be published in Germany at the end of May despite the paper shortage: “Najmoisha Mama” (“We are all alone, my mother”) with text from Halyna Kyrpa and photos of Hracia Oliko printed in Germany In the Ukrainian language in a hard copy of about 3000 copies. Moritz Verlag organizes the printing and distribution, and the printer donates the printing.

Proceeds from the sale will go to Krokusverlag. Publishers must be helped, as well as children who have fled: Ukrainian literature must be made available to them here in Germany as quickly as possible. Kristina Andres is also in talks with Literaturhaus Rostock about a digital reading format that targets Ukrainian children and also aims to support Ukrainian artists.

Emergency bunker in western Ukraine

In its emergency bunker in western Ukraine, publisher Nargis continues the work of publishing Krokusverlag. She writes to Kristina Andres in Dubin (writing on her behalf), “The time spent by the Soviet Union robbed them of their childhood and youth, now Russia is taking their childhood and who knows what else.” Will Kristina Andres publish her chronology of Kharkiv Crocosverlag or her blue-and-yellow animal portraits as a book she orders? She doesn’t think about it.

On April 10, the illustrator uploaded a new drawing. With two unicorns. and duck. Photo by Ewelina, 8 years old. “She loves to draw and later wants to be an artist. Elena fled to Kyiv to Berlin with her mother.” Christina Andres has one wish: One day, she’ll want to put the originals in an envelope and send them to Ewelina and all the other kids — to a safe “hopefully in Ukraine.”

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Radio NDR 1 MV | Kunstkaten – Culture from MV | 04/15/2022 | 7:05 PM

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