When Russia invaded her country on February 24, designer Olena Dziura instinctively wondered how she could help. “I was collecting clothes and food to send to the refugees. But I felt like I couldn’t make my skills available to help my country, unlike other professionals,” says the young woman of 27 years. Like her, many artists have felt idle. Until the Meta History: Museum of War was created on March 25 by the Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation.
The concept is unique. It is a virtual museum that traces the chronology of the conflict hour by hour, through digital works, colored or sketched with a simple black pencil, sometimes in motion, but most often frozen. For the time being, only the first six days of the conflict have been put online, that is to say a hundred works, the others must follow.
The 146 artists, mostly Ukrainians and with very different styles, who participate in the project create their images around tweets dedicated to the war. The objective is twofold: “Preserving the memory of war-related events by spreading truthful information to the digital community around the world and collecting donations to support Ukraine”, explains the museum’s website.
Vladimir Putin surrounded by bombs
Profits are generated by the sale of the illustrations in the form of NFTs, these digital certificates of ownership which guarantee the uniqueness and exclusivity of the work and which therefore give it all its value. For the past two years, NFTs have ignited the art market, propelling these digital works to astronomical prices. The Ukrainian museum intends to take advantage of this craze to help the army and civilians, by selling its NFTs for 0.15 Ether, a cryptocurrency, the equivalent of 450 euros.
“Me, unfortunately, I didn’t have time to learn how to use a weapon. But now, through art, I help raise money for my country,” says Ukrainian artist AlgorithmAB, who prefers to call himself by his artist nickname. The young man is first and foremost an architect. However, he knows that he is not ready to build his future home. So he puts all his energy into his works, conglomerates of red pixels suggesting faces.
In the last, he depicts half of Vladimir Putin’s head, surrounded by bombs. This one has already been acquired by more than five buyers. Because unlike the majority of NFTs, the works of Meta History: Museum of War are not unique. At least 1,053 NFTs were sold on March 31, a few days after the launch of the project for a sum of 500,000 dollars (460,000 euros). The museum’s goal is now to reach one million.
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NFTs engaged in the Ukrainian war effort
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