Veterans For Peace and World BEYOND War Promote Image of Soldiers Hugging

By World BEYOND War, September 21, 2022

As we’ve previously reported, and as has been reported in media outlets around the world, a talented artist in Melbourne, Australia, has been in the news for painting a mural of Ukrainian and Russian soldiers hugging — and then for taking it down because people were offended. The artist, Peter ‘CTO’ Seaton, has given us permission (and high resolution images) to rent billboards with the image, to sell yard signs and t-shirts with the image, to ask muralists to reproduce it, and generally to spread it around (with credit to Peter ‘CTO’ Seaton). We are also looking into ways to project this image onto buildings — ideas are welcome.

Veterans For Peace is partnering with World BEYOND War on this.

Please share this image far and wide:

See also this statement from Veterans For Peace and this article by a member of  Veterans For Peace.

Here is the artwork on Seaton’s website. The website says: “Peace before Pieces: Mural painted on Kingsway close to the Melbourne CBD. Focusing on a peaceful resolution between the Ukraine and Russia. Sooner or later the continued escalation of conflicts created by Politicians will be the death of our beloved planet.” We couldn’t agree more.

Our interest is not in offending anyone. We believe that even in the depths of misery, despair, anger, and revenge people are sometimes capable of imagining a better way. We’re aware that soldiers try to kill their enemies, not hug them. We’re aware that each side believes that all the evil is commited by the other side. We’re aware that each side typically believes total triumph is eternally imminent. But we believe that wars must end with the making of peace and that the sooner this is done the better. We believe that reconciliation is something to aspire to, and that it is tragic to find ourselves in a world in which even picturing it is deemed — not just unliklely, but — somehow offensive.

News reports:

SBS News: “‘Utterly offensive’: Australia’s Ukrainian community furious over mural of Russian soldier embrace”
The Guardian: “Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia calls for removal of ‘offensive’ mural of Russian and Ukrainian soldiers”
Sydney Morning Herald: “Artist to paint over ‘utterly offensive’ Melbourne mural after Ukrainian community anger”
The Independent: “Australian artist takes down mural of hugging Ukraine and Russia soldiers after huge backlash”
Sky News: “Melbourne mural of Ukrainian and Russian soldiers hugging painted over after backlash”
Newsweek: “Artist Defends ‘Offensive’ Mural of Ukrainian and Russian Troops Hugging”
The Telegraph: “Other wars: Editorial on Peter Seaton’s anti-war mural & its repercussion”
Daily Mail: “Artist is slammed over ‘utterly offensive’ mural of a Ukrainian soldier hugging a Russian in Melbourne – but he insists he’s done nothing wrong”
BBC: “Australian artist removes Ukraine and Russia mural after backlash”
9 News: “Melbourne mural criticised as ‘utterly offensive’ to Ukrainians”
RT: “Aussie artist pressured to paint over peace mural”
Der Spiegel: “Australischer Künstler übermalt eigenes Wandbild – nach Protesten”
News: “Melbourne mural showing Ukrainian, Russian soldiers hugging ‘utterly offensive’”
Sydney Morning Herald: “Melbourne artist removes mural depicting Russian and Ukrainian soldiers’ hug”
Yahoo: “Australian artist removes mural depicting Russian and Ukrainian soldiers hugging”
Evening Standard: “Australian artist removes mural depicting Russian and Ukrainian soldiers hugging”

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