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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

A paradoxical wall

A wall is being put up on Maidan from blocks that represent cities
24 December, 2013 - 10:52
Photo by Mykola TYMCHENKO, The Day

A new “defensive” installation has come up on Kyiv’s Independence Square – a wall of wooden bars, each of which being signed as a Ukrainian or even Russian city. This rally-together enclosure, built by protesters from various regions, has already become one of the Maidan’s most favorable objects to photograph. A picture of the Kyiv wall has even found a place in Reuters’ archives. Somebody has already dubbed this symbolic object “Wailing and Fighting Wall,” which in fact is wrong because its message is altogether different. Allusions to the Berlin Wall are also out of place – suffice it to just look at the variety of eastern and western cities on the wooden wall: Odesa, Lviv, Cherkasy, Zhytomyr, Rohatyn, Zhmerynka, Voronezh, Konotop, Luhansk, Kolomyia, Sievierodonetsk, Moscow… The Day has asked the wall builders what this meant to them.

Mariana Maksymiak and Dmytro Sadovy are a family. They came to the Maidan from Lviv to leave “their family’s building block” – Buchach-Rozdil. “We came to Kyiv’s Maidan as, above all, a married couple, as two people who are not indifferent to what country we will wake up in tomorrow. I would like to live with confidence in the future in a country where there will be no fear or the use of force against peaceful protests, where you need not be scared, where you can have children and be happy,” Mariana says. “Staying on the Maidan is, above all, a manifestation of active citizenship. I cannot look in peace at the way my future is being decided without my knowledge and values that I don’t share are being imposed. I am here to show that any action will encounter a counteraction,” Dmytro says.

Unfortunately, the wall has collapsed a little due to its shaky structure, and nobody is renovating it. Mariana also says that some building blocks, including theirs, have disappeared. Maidan protesters explain that some bars are used as firewood to keep people warm at night. But they assured us that the wall was noticeably growing all the time.

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