Your Story Lives On

If you’ve been following the war in Ukraine since the start in 2022 February, chances are you might have come across the story of Iryna Filkina.  You probably don’t know her name, but she is one of the many innocent Ukranian civilians killed in the war.  Iryna had been training to be a make-up artist and aspired to be a blogger.  That all ended when she was killed by Russian forces in Bucha.  

When I heard about Iryna’s story and her dream, it really struck a chord in that her blog or social media posts will never be written or read.  I wanted to create something to commemorate her untold stories.  

The concept of this typewriter is “Your Story Lives On.”  I took an old Olivetti Lettera 35 typewriter and painted it based on the distinct heart design on Iryna’s fingernail which helped identify her lifeless body on a street in Bucha.  

The hearts on the typewriter represents the unwritten stories that Iryna could have told, but never will have the opportunity to do so.  Iryna may be gone, but her artistic spirit lives on.  I hope her story will inspire others to be creative and produce something noteworthy while they still have the opportunity.

I’ve been communicating with Iryna’s daughter, Olga Shchyruk about this project, and she’s been very appreciative of this small gesture from some unknown guy halfway around the world.  In time, I will send Olga a letter using this typewriter.  Eventually, I would like to visit Ukraine and present this the typewriter to her.

This typewriter is part of a series of three machines I had planned to design based on the war in Ukraine.  Since the closure of my studio workspace, I’m uncertain I will be able to complete this project.  I have one more typewriter that needs painting.  Perhaps I’ll gather the strength, time and inspiration to finish the final typewriter when this madness ends.