All posts tagged: Waone Interesni Kazki

Persuasive Messaging: “Never Again” Brings Ukrainian Artists to Examine War in Poster Campaign

Persuasive Messaging: “Never Again” Brings Ukrainian Artists to Examine War in Poster Campaign

Never Again Gallery: Ukrainian artists reinterpreted posters from the Second World War

Every generation pats itself on the back, secure in knowing that it is way too savvy to be manipulated by propaganda, even smirking at the simplicity of those who fell for it the last time. Artists may have a better picture of that reality. Or not.

The “Never Again Gallery” project is an online effort by Ukrainian artists that examines the similarities between the visual campaigns that persuaded people about WWII events and the messaging we see daily today regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Left: Lawrence Beall Smith. USA, 1942. Right: WAONE Interesni Kaszi. Ukraine, 2022. (photos courtesy of Never Again Gallery)

Perhaps likening the NATO states to the World War II Allies, the project returns to the “hundreds of emotional posters” in cities across Europe and the US advocating for support. With new interpretations of eerily similar sentiments, visitors are encouraged to download PDFs of new posters, which, like the old ones, offer “calls-to-action, instructions, and motivation.”

The project’s messages get muddled; such is the fog of war, you may say. The similarities to the past – and these reinterpretations of compelling images and slogans – may cause viewers to question the motivations of those at war now or those who encourage it. But no one doubts how powerful these artworks can be.

Left: William Little. Great Britain, 1941. Right: Varvara Perekrest. Ukraine, 2022. (photos courtesy of Never Again Gallery)

This generation of artists and creatives use Facebook ads, Instagram graphics, and TikTok videos as much as earlier illustrators used posters and print ads to get the point across. One wonders if time passing always assures that artists who lend their creative talents feel pride for having helped their side, or if sometimes there is regret as well, or instead.

Projects like this one from the “Never Again Gallery” remind us that when it comes to propaganda and war, “Never Again” lasts only approximately as long as our memories do.

Left: Saalburg Allen Russel. USA, 1942. Right: Oleksandr Grekhov. Ukraine, 2022. (photos courtesy of Never Again Gallery)

20 Ukrainian artists attributed to the project:

Tetiana Yakunova, Oleksandra Kovaliova, Anton Logov, Anna Sarvira, Maria OZ, Varvara Perekrest, WAONE Interesni Kazki, Oleksandr Grekhov, Anton Abo, Alina Kropachova, WE BAD, Masha Foya, PLVNV, Mari Kinovich, Alina Zamanova, Bravebirdie, Sestry Feldman, Yulia Vus, Alex Derega, and Marie Hermasheva.

Click HERE to see the whole collection of images and posters, including the original and current versions, and to download and print the posters free of charge.

Then – WWII & Now – Ukraine. (photos courtesy of the Never Again Gallery)
Then – WWII & Now – Ukraine. (photos courtesy of the Never Again Gallery)
Then – WWII & Now – Ukraine. (photos courtesy of the Never Again Gallery)
Then – WWII & Now – Ukraine. (photos courtesy of the Never Again Gallery)
Then – WWII & Now – Ukraine. (photos courtesy of the Never Again Gallery)
Philli. France, 1942 (photo courtesy of Never Again Gallery)
Anton Logov. Ukraine, 2022 (photo courtesy Never Again Gallery)
Betsy Graves. USA, 1943. (photo courtesy of Never Again Gallery)
Masha Foya. Ukraine, 2022 (photo courtesy Never Again Gallery)

Click HERE to see the whole collection, including the original and current versions, and to download and print the posters free of charge.

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BSA HOT LIST 2021: Books For Your Gift Giving

BSA HOT LIST 2021: Books For Your Gift Giving

It’s that time of the year again! BSA has been publishing our “Hot Lists” and best-of collections for more than 11 years every December.

Our interests and understanding and network of connections continued to spread far afield this year, and you probably can tell it just by the books we featured: stickers, illustration, murals, copyright law, a cross-country spraycation, anamorphic street installation, Hip-Hop photography, graffiti writers community, and a lockdown project that kept an artists sanity.

So here is a short list from 2021 that you may enjoy as well – just in case you would like to give them as gifts to family, friends, or even to yourself.

Leon Keer: “Break Glass In Case Of Lost Childhood”

From BSA:

One of the challenges in creating a book about anamorphic art is presenting images that tell the viewer that they are being tricked by perspective yet hold onto the magic that this unique art conjures in people who walk by it on the street.

In a way, that brass skeleton key that allows entry into another world is precisely what Dutch pop-surrealist artist Leon Keer has been seeking for decades to evoke in viewers’ heads and hearts. Some would argue he is preeminently such; certainly, he is the wizard whose work on walls and streets has triggered memories for thousands of children and ex-children of the fantastic worlds they have visited.

“You develop your senses all your life. Through what you experience, you involve affinities and aversions,” he says in his first comprehensive bound collection of gorgeous plates entitled In Case of Lost Childhood Break Glass. “Your memories shape the way you look at the world. When it comes to reflecting my thoughts, my memories are key. I needed to feel some kind of affection or remorse towards the object or situation I want to paint.”

Leon Keer. “Break Glass In Case Of Lost Childhood”. Published by Lannoo Publishers, Belgium, 2020

Street Art Today 2 by Bjorn Van Poucke: An Update on 50 “Most Relevant” Artists

From BSA:

A worthy companion to the original tome, Bjørn Van Poucke and Lanoo publishers extend the hitlist of favored muralists that he & Elise Luong began in Street art/ Today 1 – and the collection is updated perhaps with the perceived cultural capital many of these artists have garnered since then.

Replete with full-color plates from the artists’ own collections and garnished with brief overviews of their histories, creative background, and philosophies, the well-designed and modern layout functions as an introduction for those unfamiliar with the wide variety of artworks that are currently spread across city walls as large scale opus artworks in public space. As organizer and curator of The Crystal Ship mural festival in Oostende, Belgium, Mr. Van Poucke has had his pick of the litter and has showcased them during the late twenty-teens.

Street Art Today 2: The 50 most influential street artists working today. By Bjorn Van Poucke. Published by Lannoo Publishers, Belgium.

WAONE Opens Monochrome “Worlds Of Phantasmagoria”

From BSA:

A new illustrated tome capturing the black and white work of one-half of Ukraine’s mural painting duo Interesni Kazki welcomes you into the past wonders and future imaginings of a world framed in “Phantasmagoria.”

Full of monochromatic fantasies at least partially inspired by the worlds unleashed by Belgian inventor and physicist Étienne-Gaspard “Robertson” Robert, Waone’s own interior expanding fantascope of miss-appended demons, dragon slayers, riddle-speaking botanicals, and mythological heroes may borrow as deeply from his father’s Soviet natural science magazines that brimmed with hand-painted illustrations – which served as his education and entertainment as a child.

This book, the first of two volumes of graphic works, explores Waone’s move from the street into the studio, from full color into black and white, from aerosol and brush to etching, lithography, augmented reality, and sculpting.

“Worlds Of Phantasmagoria” By WAONE Interesni Kazki. Vol. 1. Graphic Works 2013-2020. Wawe Publishers.

“Closed (In) for Inventory”: FKDL Makes the Most of His Confinement, 10 Items at a Time

From BSA:

The world is slowly making movements toward the door as if to go outside and begin living again in a manner to which we had been accustomed before COVID made many of us become shut-ins. Parisian street artist FKDL was no exception, afraid for his health. However, he does have a very attractively feathered nest, so he made the best of his time creating.

“March 17, 2020, the unprecedented experience of confinement begins in France,” writes Camille Berthelot in the introduction to Closed (in) for Inventory, “Time that usually goes so fast turns into a space of freedom, and everyone has the leisure or the obligation to devote himself to the unexpected.”

FKDL quickly began a project daily, sorting and assembling 10 items and photographing them. He posted them to his Instagram by mid-day. Eventually, he saved the photographed compositions together and created this book.  

“My duty of tidying up and sorting out turned into a daily challenge. I dove like a child into the big toybox my apartment is to select and share my strange objects, my banalities, my memories, my creations, and those of others,” he writes. “I gather these treasures, valuables or not, in search of harmony of subject, forms, materials, and nuances.”

(EN)FERME POUR INVENTAIRE by Les Editions Franck Duval. Paris, France.

“Unsmashed” A Street Art Sticker “Field Guide”

From BSA:

The street sticker, be it ever so humble and diminutive, is profligate and sometimes even inspiring. An amalgamated scene that is anonymous, yet curiously stuck together, the organizers and sponsors of so-called sticker jams have been overwhelmed in recent years by thousands of participants.

Artist and organizer IWILLNOT has compiled, organized, archived, and preserved this collection as a ‘field guide,’ he says, and another artist named Cheer Up has laid out page after page. It is a global cross-sample from 60 countries and a thousand artists – a treasure trove of the witty, insightful, snotty, and sometimes antisocial street bards of the moment, seizing their moment to speak and mark territory.

UNSMASHED: A Street Art Sticker Field Guide. Compiled by IWILLNOT, Designed by Cheer Up. A Collection of 1,229 full color sticker designs by 1,000 artists from more than 60 countries. Published by IWLLNOT and Cheer Up. December 2020.

MOMO Leaves His “Parting Line”

From BSA:

A year after its close, we open the book on American street artist MOMO’s new book chronicling the exhibition “Parting Line.” Writing about and covering his work for 15 years or so, we’re always pleased to see where his path has led – never surprised but always pleased with his evolution of decoding the lines, textures, practices, serendipity of discoveries unearthed by this wandering interrogator.

Here, along the river Seine banks, we see his exhibition for the still young Hangar 107, the recently inaugurated Center For Contemporary Art in Rouen, France. While we think of his work in New York in the 2000s, we see the steady progression here – his cloud washes, raking patterns, his experimental, experiential zeal. This is the spirit of DIY that we first fell in love with, the lust for uncovering and the desire for making marks unlike others across the cityscape, quizzically folding and unfolding, pulling the string, drawing the line.

MOMO “Parting Line”. Hangar 107. Edited by Christian Omodeo – Le Grand Ju. Published by Hangar 107. Rouen, France. 2020.

“Born In The Bronx” Expanded: Joe Conzo’s Intuitive Eye on Early Hip Hop

From BSA:

Born in the Bronx: A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop

Yes, Yes, Y’all, it’s been a decade since this volume, “Born in the Bronx,” was released. The images here by photographer Joe Conzo seem even more deeply soaked in the amber light of early Hip Hop culture from the late 1970s and early 80s, now taking on a deepened sense of the historical.

As the city and the original players of this story have evolved through the decades that followed the nascent Hip Hop era, it’s clearer than ever that this was nothing less than a full-force eruption, a revelation that cracked and shook and rocket-fueled an entire culture. Thanks to Conzo it was captured and preserved, not likely to be repeated.

Born in the Bronx is full of gems, insider observations, interviews, and personal hand-drawn artworks. One critical cornerstone is a timeline from Jeff Chang that begins in 1963 as the boastful but failed Urban Planner Robert Moses constructed the Cross Bronx Expressway – painfully destroying and displacing people and families, severing culturally significant, vibrant areas of the borough and producing a dangerous malaise.

BORN IN THE BRONX: A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop. Expanded edition published in 2020 by 1xRUN with support from ROCK THE BELLS & BEYOND THE STREETS. Detroit, MI. 2020.

Enrico Bonadio: Protecting Art in the Street

From BSA:

Enrico Bonadio is a contributor to BSA Writer’s Bench OpEd column, he is a Reader in Intellectual Property Law at City, University of London, and a street and graffiti art aficionado. His current research agenda focuses on the legal protection of non-conventional forms of creativity. He recently edited the Cambridge Handbook of Copyright in Street Art and Graffiti (Cambridge University Press 2019) and Non-Conventional Copyright – Do New and Atypical Works Deserve Protection? (Elgar 2018). He is currently working on his monograph Penetration of Copyright into Street Art and Graffiti Sub-Cultures (Brill, expected 2022).

Enrico is a Member of the Editorial Board of the NUART Journal, which publishes provocative and critical writings on a range of topics relating to street art practice and urban art cultures.

His academic research has been covered by CNN, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, BBC, Washington Post, The New York Times, Financial Times. Reuters, The Guardian, The Times, Independent, and The Conversation, amongst other media outlets.

Enrico’s current title is Protecting Art in the Street: A Guide to Copyright in Street Art and Graffiti (Dokument Press), with a foreword by Zephyr

A “Gentle People” Aussie Tour: Paint, Fun, and Run with 1UP & Olf

From BSA:

It’s almost sublimely subversive to publish your illegal graffiti escapades in a handsomely bound photo book with creamy paper stock and gauzy, professional photos. Positioned as a travelogue across the great Australian continent (complete with a hand-drawn map), the international troupe of sprayers named 1UP from Germany provides a genteel accounting of their expansive itinerary in a diary here for you, dear reader.

The stories are not without surprise and carefully touch on all the necessary road trip tropes you may wish for but cannot be assured of in a cross-country graffiti tale of skylarking and aesthetic destruction: angry rural police, security cameras, sleeping in rolled-up carpets, fancy receptions with Aperol Spritz, climbing over fences, sudden fire extinguisher tags, exploding paint cans, smoky wildfires, beaches, wallabies, long never-ending-stretches of road, the Sydney Harbor, an emergency-brake whole-car in Melbourne, and yes, a large kangaroo smashing into your car on a darkened country path.

PAINT, FUN, RUN, 1UP & OLF: GENTLE PEOPLE TOUR. 1UP CREW BERLIN. PRINTED AND BOUND IN GERMANY

“Nation Of Graffiti Artists” Opens Another Chapter of NYC Writer History

From BSA:

SCORPIO, BLOOD TEA, ALI, STAN 153, SAL 161, CLIFF 159. It was the mid to late 70s in New York and train writing was in its foundational stages, later to be referred to as legendary. For a modest crew of teenagers, it was the hypest stage you could be on, and going all city constructed many dreams of fame and recognition on the street.

Jack Pelsinger wanted to help shepherd these talents and energies into something they could develop into a future, maybe a profession. With a lease on a storefront from the city for a dollar in 1974, he made way for the Nation of Graffiti Artists (NOGA). An artists workshop and haven for a creative community that was regularly sidelined or overlooked, the author of this new volume, Chris Pape (acclaimed OG Freedom), says “Like moths drawn to a light, the kids showed up, hundreds of them.”

With extraordinary photos shot by Michael Lawrence, the book serves as a true document for the New York of that moment and opens doors to a chapter of graffiti history you may not even have known of until now.

NATION OF GRAFFITI ARTISTS, NYC. WRITTEN BY CHRIS PAPE WITH PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL LAWRENCE. PUBLISHED BY BEYOND THE STREETS, 2021.

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WAONE Opens Monochrome  “Worlds Of Phantasmagoria”

WAONE Opens Monochrome “Worlds Of Phantasmagoria”

A new illustrated tome capturing the black and white work of one-half of Ukraine’s mural painting duo Interesni Kazki welcomes you into the past wonders and future imaginings of a world framed in “Phantasmagoria.”

Full of monochromatic fantasies at least partially inspired by the worlds unleashed by Belgian inventor and physicist Étienne-Gaspard “Robertson” Robert, Waone’s own interior expanding fantascope of miss-appended demons, dragon slayers, riddle-speaking botanicals, and mythological heroes may borrow as deeply from his father’s Soviet natural science magazines that brimmed with hand-painted illustrations – which served as his education and entertainment as a child.

Swimming and slithering through his subconscious may also be his college studies of agriculture and his many travels through the world with his co-painting mate AEC. The two ingenious kids had begun as part of a graffiti crew in the early 2000s but pursued non-letter representational surrealism in striking color on walls in nearby Kyiv as well as Europe and the Americas; a successful mural and fine art partnership that brought acclaim and gallery exhibitions as well as massive walls before ending so that each could pursue individual creative visions.

This book, the first of two volumes of graphic works, explores Waone’s move from the street into the studio, from full color into black and white, from aerosol and brush to etching, lithography, augmented reality, and sculpting.

With the aesthetics of a musty and mythical library, the illustrations open the preconceptions of psychology, offering myriad views through recombining familiar elements into unusual associations. In the process, you travel with Waone as he dedicates himself to this uncolorful view, which is nonetheless rich, if not tinged with a bit of antiseptic horror.

Notable is his most recent piece from 2020 – a fetal being floating through the cosmos that he calls “Apple of Discord“ – that suggests that perhaps these dissonant times are giving birth to new orchards.

“This artwork depicts the birth life and death of the ego,” he explains, and indeed he appears to have seen beyond this celestial fog elsewhere in the book. “When you have had this experience when you’ve become an extraction, you are able to perceive the world in a completely new way.”

Perhaps in a way that is Phantasmagorical?

“Worlds Of Phantasmagoria” By WAONE Interesni Kazki. Vol. 1. Graphic Works 2013-2020. Wawe Publishers.

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INO “Instability” in Kiev

INO “Instability” in Kiev

The frank pop symbolism and dark sarcasm of artists like Banksy and the early punk graphics of albums and ‘zines has reached into the monumental public murals of today and this new one of a ballerina balancing on a lit bomb is an apt example. Idealized beauty teetering upon disaster is an image that you’ll understand quickly. Certainly everyone has experienced this feeling at one point in life, if not many points.

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INO. Work in progress for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © INO)

Greek artist INO may have familiarity with “Instability”, the name of the piece, which could easily apply to economic matters in that country. The symbolism of paintings will of course be interpreted by the viewer, as ever, and instability often applies to our politics, our trade relations, our warring countries and cities, immigration of refugees, access to clean food and water, our shifting environment, even our our banking systems. Ukraine itself has suffered the crisis of war and division in recent years as well, so this mural may evoke emotions which people in Kiev can relate to.

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INO. Work in progress for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © INO)

The monochrome figure, split across the middle and slightly shifted to one side, is a common treatment of the subject by INO, as is the accented splash of a bright hue that rides across the composition as different layer. This blue divination of the sky appears to be melting the celestial sphere and dripping downward into the main piece.

Sponsored by the arts organization called ArtUnitedUS, the new mural is 48 meters above the ground and the group says it is the largest that INO has ever created.

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INO. Detail. For ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © INO)

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INO. Detail. For ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © INO)

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INO. Detail. For ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © INO)

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INO for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © INO)

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INO for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © INO)

 

Our sincere thank you to co-founders/curators of Art United Us; Geo Leros, Iryna Kanishcheva, and Waone Interesni Kazki for sharing the project with BSA readers.

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“Rise” from James Bullough In Kiev for “Art United Us”

“Rise” from James Bullough In Kiev for “Art United Us”

The fractured photorealism of James Bullough continues to rise on walls around the world, a precise sampling and re-laying of images that will be familiar to the viewer but rivetingly rearranged. Here in Kiev to participate in the ArtUnitedUs project, the Washington DC native who now lives in Berlin says he wanted to indirectly address the geo-political conflicts here and elsewhere on the globe that is leaving a great many people feeling stressed and discouraged.

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James Bullough for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo detail © James Bullough)

The artist has been building a body of work that recasts the form as a digital image that can be sliced, slidden, replaced, relayered – which for most classically trained painters is anti-intuitive, as the corporeal is something to be contemplated, idealized holistically. The effect is jarring and leads the viewer to reexamine the image, perhaps trying to re-align the pieces – but we learn here that they are not always derived from one image only.

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James Bullough for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © @dronarium)

BSA: When you create this multiples effect, how do you describe it, and what does it represent to you – energy? spirit? altered perspectives?
James Bullough: I began fracturing and fragmenting my figures a while back in an effort to abstract what I saw as fairly straight forward portraiture.  This shifting brought a new sense of movement and energy to the work and the multiplying of elements (i.e.. hands, feet, faces, exc.) created a bit of a mind f*** which I really liked.

What may look like a simple random cutting and fracturing of a single photo is actually the result of hours and hours of work finding just the right image, or in most cases an amalgamation of multiple different images, and experimenting with countless different versions of fractures and abstractions until something really clicks.

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James Bullough for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © @dronarium)

BSA: Can you tell us about the process for this piece and how you would like it to convey a possibly optimistic message?
James Bullough: The specific image I chose to use for this painting comes from a series of photos and paintings I’ve created this year called “Breaking Point”.  With this series I asked my models to consider dramatic moments in life when things change instantly, good or bad, and you are not the same after.

With this direction and the choice of dancers and my models, I was able to capture amazingly dramatic positions and angles. Of the hundreds of photos that I have from this series, this image was the clear choice for the feeling of hope and transcendence that I was looking for. With the addition of the red brushstrokes swirling around her symbolizing chaos and confusion, and the fragmented figure breaking free, I offer a bit of strength and optimism to anyone seeking it.

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James Bullough for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © @dronarium)

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James Bullough for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © @dronarium)

Our Sincere thank you to co-founders/curators of Art United Us; Geo Leros, Iryna Kanishcheva, Waone Interesni Kazki

 

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ROA and Pastel in Kiev for “Art United Us”

ROA and Pastel in Kiev for “Art United Us”

Two new pieces in Kiev from Belgian Street Artist ROA and Argentian Street Artist Pastel, both for the ArtUnitedUs project.

Pastel took some time to study history of the Makhnovist movement during the 1917 Russian Revolution, he says, as well as the libertarian revolution in the Ukraine. Naturally, botany was his chosen method of communicating such complex events.

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Pastel for ArtUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © @dronarium)

He also studied local plants for inspiration, and posted this quote on his Facebook page.

“We have all flirted with freedom and, deep inside all of us have the urge to make it a serious relationship. The Anarchist values of individual freedom, grass roots democracy, and the decentralisation of all forms of power are, if anything, more pertinent today then over. See you on the barricades.” -Tony Allen, Kiev

See here a photo he used for a sketch of his new wall during his preparation.

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In his familiar monochromatic aerosol hand rendering below ROA depicts local marginalized friends from the animal world. His practice is to study his host city and find the local animals that are not commonly celebrated or thought of very often, in effect giving them a visual voice in the cityscape. His painting took five days and was slowed by a painful foot problem, but ultimately he powered through.

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ROA for ArUnitedUs in Kiev, Ukraine. (photo © @dronarium)

 

ArtUnitedUs co-founded and curated by Geo Leros, Iryna Kanishcheva, Waone Interesni Kazki

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