Gene Shades

Just me and my fellow country people
Scattered around the world
Or stuck where they do not belong,
Feeling each other through invisible nods,
Brief chats, insights, and likes of support,
Pushing the sky, everyone on their own,
On linoleum, carpet, or parquet floor,
Not friends, not close, we just happen to be
Wearing the same store shades

Author’s Statement

Ever since I first moved out of Ukraine 7 years ago and became an immigrant, I have been ”studying” the subject of immigration, compatriotism, home, belonging, and identity firsthand. But now, being a Ukrainian and in light of russia’s brutal invasion of my home, this poem has taken on new meanings, or at least whole new levels of the meaning that was already there.

This is not the first great trial Ukraine and its people have gone through, and sadly will undoubtedly not be the last, but throughout whatever comes our way will be strength, unity, courage, and hope. The Ukrainian identity is not going anywhere.

Karyna Aslanova is a Kyiv-born Ukrainian multimedia artist, director, and photographer, and although photography is her principal medium, Karyna also uses video, painting and illustration, and poetry to further her exploration into a multitude of subjects. Karyna’s art photography projects often use other-worldly imagery to reflect modern social issues, with a vague but familiar base note perceptible through a haze of the strange and incongruous.