We don’t normally focus on the visual on this radio program. But something caught our eye this past week that’s almost entirely visual. And yet, it’s so beautiful and breathtaking that we want to tell you about it.
By the way — we’ve posted a video at “the world dot org” so you can see what we’re about to describe. Now — you’ve heard of Britain’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent… right?
The winners and finalists of those shows tend to be singers and dancers. Along the way, you may find other bizarre contestants: magicians who regurgitate a deck of cards, chainsaw sculptors, a woman who can play two recorders through her nose. They usually don’t get far…surprise surprise.
But on “Ukraine’s Got Talent” — yes Ukraine hosts one of these shows too — the weird is also the wonderful. Kseniya Simonova won this year’s edition of the show, and earned the top prize of 120,000 dollars.
Her talent? She’s a sand artist.
She magically glides her fingers through sand covering a light box –moving the sand to conjure images that then melt hypnotically into other images, all while the music plays.
Simonova’s winning real-time animation depicted the Nazi invasion of Ukraine in World War Two. It’s a poignant — and politically charged tale to relate on a talent show. One in four Ukrainians died by the end of that war.
Simonova’s story begins with a couple sitting on a bench, holding hands. Soon warplanes appear and the idyllic scene is destroyed. Simonova replaces the scene with a woman crying.
Then warplanes arrive again. A weeping widow morphs into a monument to an Unknown Soldier. The final picture she creates is of a mother and child bidding a sad farewell to a man with his hands pressed against the glass.
When Kseniya Simonova completed her sand art, the audience and judges of Ukraine’s Got Talent were in tears and on their feet. And since the performance appeared on You Tube, more than TWO million people worldwide have watched Simonova at work.