As the world watches Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, it’s easy to get lost in the sheer inhumanity of what is unfolding. It’s also hard not to feel helpless as an individual and wonder how on Earth we can help something that feels so much bigger than us.
But as individuals, we can come together to create an unstoppable force; a force fuelled by humanity, love and unity. Together, we can help by spreading awareness and sharing the right information on social media, donating supplies and funds that are so desperately needed, signing petitions, coming out onto our streets to peacefully protest and much more for our friends in the East.
Last Friday, Danny de la Bastide was joined by Sisu resident Nadiya Taylor for his Mornings With residency. A Ukrainian-born, London-based DJ, Nadiya shares her extremely touching story with us, along with some incredibly helpful resources, which you can find at the end of the article. For the show, Nadiya presented a variety of Ukrainian music along with messages in support of Ukraine during this difficult time. We chat with Nadiya to find out more about the impact the current war is having, why she has approached the mix in the way that she has and what more we can do to help.
“I grew up in Odessa, a coastal city on the Black Sea, where my family and a lot of my friends still live. Since last Thursday (when Russia invaded Ukraine), my world has changed forever.
My life is now split into two – ‘Before The War’ and ‘After The War’. Before the war, I spoke to Danny about how we wanted to structure the show and what music we wanted to play. We chose an upbeat disco vibe. Fast forward one week and Danny was calling me to tell me that I didn’t have to do the show if I didn’t want to, and that he understood that there must have been a lot on my mind. Danny was right, there was a lot on my mind. Mainly these questions: Am I going to see my family and friends again? Will I be able to go back to the beautiful city where I grew up? The pain from seeing daily images of familiar streets laying in ruins and Ukrainian people being exterminated is ineffable. The feeling of helplessness and injustice from seeing innocent people dying for their freedom was too much. Their courage and perseverance in their efforts to protect their land, their culture and traditions is inspiring.This is why I decided to go ahead with the show and channel that feeling of helplessness and anger into something uplifting and positive.
Even though Ukraine is the biggest country in Europe with its own rich culture and identity, I feel that not many people from the UK knew much about Ukraine before last week, and that is the reason behind my tracks selection – I wanted to show how varied and unique Ukrainian music can be, and I didn’t even scratch the surface. In the past couple of decades, many artists started going back to their roots and reviving Ukrainian ethnic motives whilst adding a modern, more experimental twist, which produced a very distinctive sound. I’ve also added a few ethno-punk tracks in an attempt to describe Ukrainian “why the fuck not” energy. Because, why not? Why not get rid of a landmine with your bare hands, why not stop a tank completely unarmed, why not hack into Russian tele networks and play the Ukrainian national anthem on every channel? (all those videos became viral). Why not – if the price is your freedom?
I also played some ultimate defiance tracks that helped me get through difficult times. What feels better than listening to Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I Will Survive’, whilst miming the lyrics and pretending you’re singing ‘just turn around now, cause you’re not welcome any more’ to Russian troops? Absolutely nothing! I hope people enjoy this show.”
- A post that helps to understand the cultural differences between Ukraine and Russia here.
- How to help Ukrainian refugees arriving in the UK here.
- Read more about and support the LGBTQ+ Ukraine military here.
- Donate to support LGBTQI+ Ukrainians here.
- Help fund Humanitarian Assistance to Ukrainians here.
- ‘peace is power – a Musique Concrète fundraiser for Ukraine’ – buy on Bandcamp here.
- ‘In my dreams I see a peaceful East – a benefit compilation in support of Ukraine’ – buy on Bandcamp here.
- Discover 20 of the best films to help understand what’s happening in Ukraine here.
Thank you to Danny and Nadiya for providing these resources and putting together a beautiful show. Tune into Danny’s next Mornings With on Friday 18th March, 10:00 – 12:00pm.