War is always a stolen childhood. Loss of home, support, parents, favorite toys… The loss of future bright memories. That special enduring sense of love and security, which is founded in childhood, is undermined. Anyone who has ever seen explosions and death will remember it forever. Even a war that is short, kills for a long time. The Stolen Childhood project was born in February-March 2022. I left Russia because I could not accept what was happening there. I couldn’t keep silent, and it became dangerous to speak. I was packing my suitcases, throwing some of my son’s toys in there. At some moment, a doll’s shoe caught my eye. It was definitely not one of my son’s toys. It was just a weird, blue shoe from nowhere. I leaned over it and realized… and began to cry. I cried for a long time. Then I put that shoe in my suitcase, bought a children’s art tool – a burnisher and a few more toys and flew to Sri Lanka. This is where my second home is. I created the installation “Stolen Childhood” out of fishing boat scraps and toy fragments with the help of burning techniques. I cried a lot while I was working on this installation. I spent my childhood in Ukraine. Many Ukrainian children’s childhoods were forever broken by the terrible events of 2022. 

Ana Saut 

Born in Perm, Russia. Since 2012 has been living in Sri Lanka. Now living in Beograd. Graduated from Art college in Perm in the North of Russia, then got the degree of industrial design at International School of Design, Saint Petersburg and degree in psychology at Perm State Pedagogical University. In 2010 – 2012 studied at Free Workshops at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA) and at that time participated in International Biennale of Contemporary Art “Stop! Who is there?”, special project curated by Daria Kamyshnikova. Solo exhibitions in Bogota (Columbia), Perm (Russia), Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA), Budva (Montenegro). Group exhibitions in London (UK), Paris (France), Dusseldorf (Germany), San Francisco (USA), Moscow, Perm, Saint Petersburg (Russia). Participated in art residencies in Montenegro, Sri Lanka, Turkey and others. The interdisciplinary approach in Ana’s art practice is based on her experience as psychologist and artist. Her current focus is on mixed media installations, which includes creating art objects, paintings, collage, graphics, video.