Ukrainian Artist Oleksiy Say tells Kyiv Post in an exclusive interview about the moment at the iconic Burning Man Festival in Nevada, when his sculpture "Phoenix’" was unveiled by flames to an enraptured crowd.
“When it became visible in the fire, people were screaming,” he says. “It’s not only a bird, but also a Tryzub. I think it’s clear that it was Ukrainian.”
Say’s Phoenix put Ukraine centre stage at the festival and was first on the bill for the burnings which characterise the famous gathering. In the context of Russia’s ongoing full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the sculpture was far more than just a temporary visual spectacle.
“I hope that people in America will learn something valuable from us because it's time to not just showcase and receive, but also to contribute something meaningful to the world.”
“Culture will help us to survive.”