With “A point of blurred light”, the voices of Ukraine find refuge on France Culture

On February 24, 2022, Vladimir Putin announced that he would carry out his threats and invade Ukraine

With “A point of blurred light”, the voices of Ukraine find refuge on France Culture

On February 24, 2022, Vladimir Putin announced that he would carry out his threats and invade Ukraine. A few minutes later, the first explosions were heard. And it is with explosions and sirens that this very particular production begins, both dense and sensitive, broadcast on France Culture.

It all started at Making Waves, an association created by Alexandre Plank (director, for ten years at Radio France, awarded many times) and whose activity is structured into three poles: a sound creation studio, an integration workshop-workshop and an NGO whose aim is to install radio studios in crisis areas – which it did, in conjunction with UNESCO, from the start of the war in Ukraine.

A year later, the association ordered texts from Ukrainian authors. “A way to participate in the war effort by finding a reason to send a little money to artists in Ukraine,” explains Alexandre Plank. Faced with the strength and beauty of the texts, he recorded them with Ukrainian actresses who had taken refuge in France. Finally, he sent some equipment to the site so that Ukrainian technicians and the journalist Evgenia Rudenko could record atmospheres and conduct interviews.

“Gesture of solidarity”

So many testimonies and texts which have found refuge in the France Culture grid. Usually so discreet, Alexandre Plank does not hide it: “This gesture of solidarity towards the cultural actors of a country at war is one of the most beautiful and strongest broadcasts that I have made in my life . It’s a way of telling them that we are thinking of them, that their words touch us and that we are listening to them. »

In fact, we hear them, and first of all Olya who testifies on Evgenia Rudenko's microphone: “In the first days of the war, I remember when the sirens sounded. It was very scary (…) But we adapted, and now (…) in the morning, we get up, we put on lipstick, we put on heels and we go to work. » If she tries, like everyone else, to deal with it, she dreads every moment because “no one is safe from it”, and notes that children now know how to recognize “any weapon by the noise they make” .

Next comes the text by Iryna Tsilyk, who speaks of the massacres to come, “the violence, the filth, the ruin, the tortures, the rapes and the smell of rotting human bodies rising from mass graves”. Ruslan, who is an architect, points out that the Russians deliberately started by targeting cultural institutions, schools and universities. After the very beautiful “My mother is old-fashioned”, by Ludmyla Tymoshenko, comes the text by Artem Tchekh which gives the title to the show: “A point of blurred light”.

A poem by Maksym Kryvtsov

“We cannot afford to forget the war,” writes Sofia Andrukhovych, to whom Laure Calamy lends her voice, as did the actresses Audrey Bonnet, Irène Jacob and Maud Wyler.

It is with a poem by Maksym Kryvtsov, killed on the front at the age of 33, on January 7, that this moving broadcast ends and which we must listen to because these words, their words, not only say something about the war in Ukraine, but also because, for an hour, their voices are returned to them.