drawing of two rabbits ears intertwined holding a sign with three blanks, then five blanks

“_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _” — 24.02.2022 – …

I started these two on the first day of the war, sitting in a long line at the migration center for a friend and finished the line art a few days later. But I only printed these a week or so later when my first run was out.

They had the same words as the first rabbit pair from the start, but by the time I was printing them, those words had become illegal to use. Banned. That ban was a painful blow. More painful than I ever thought it would be – not that I ever imagined that this was possible in 2022. That day I was broken and stunned, and my throat started hurting with a huge sharp burning lump. It’s been almost a month, and the lump is still there. It’s still a physical pain.

I thought first to print them with “no war” anyway. But it felt wrong. I wanted them to express the pain of being shut up and muted as well as my hate for the war. Anyone in Russia can decipher the three and five blanks, so that doesn’t really hide anything. So I went with the blanks.

I was a bit anxious to print them (I go to a print shop to do that, my printer does not really work at the moment, and the print quality is way better there anyway, the stickers last a lot longer). But I chose a familiar place, and the woman who worked there was friendly. She remembered me from the first run. Observed how the rabbits had changed. Voiced her theories and speculations on why I had chosen rabbits (said the question had been bothering her ever since she saw the first run). Made me guess the two most known qualities rabbits are seen to have according to her (breed fast + are cowards). Then we talked about Alice in Wonderland. She said the book was keeping her sane. And sent me off noting that if I cut the stickers around the outlines instead of in rectangles they will stick better and be way harder to peel off. It was nice, talking to her. Made the world feel like a warmer place.

I think this pair is a lot more lost than the first. But they’re holding up. They’re trying.

Here’s a pdf if you want to print some.

I really appreciate you sharing,

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