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The exhibition of drawings by Polish and Ukrainian children “Mum, I Don’t Want War”, which is organised by the Embassies of Poland and the United States, will be on display at the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia). The opening of the exhibition will take place in the lobby of the Riigikogu Building on 8 May at 11 a.m

President of the Riigikogu Lauri Hussar said that the depiction of war on children’s pictures, through their eyes, brought a deep sadness to his soul. “Wherever a war takes place, it is the children who suffer the most from it. They will feel the trauma of war for the rest of their lives and pass it on to the next generations,” said Hussar. He emphasised that when looking at these pictures, we should feel with all our souls the responsibility of adults to prevent war or to end it as soon as possible.

The exhibition displays incredibly heartfelt images of war. There are drawings by Polish children from 1946, reflecting their experiences during the Second World War and the German occupation in 1939–1945. From 1945 to 1966, these pictures were preserved in the Polish State Archives in Warsaw. Next to them, there are drawings by Ukrainian children of today that depict the war that is currently taking place in Ukraine, and have been collected into the portal “Mom, I See War”.

The organisers of the exhibition aim to show that through the eyes of a child, war always looks the same. Regardless of the place or time, war is a great evil, and the child is always its victim. The similarity between the historical and contemporary drawings is remarkable. Children draw tanks, planes dropping bombs, fires and explosions. They draw the wounded and the dead, ruined houses, graves. They draw themselves and their families, they draw evacuation and escape. But they also draw pictures of hope and of their dreams for the future.

The exhibition “Mum, I Don’t Want War”, organised by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland and the Embassy of the United States, was commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland and consists of children’s drawings held in the Polish State Archives and collected by the Ukrainian portal “Mom, I See War” in 2022.

The 2024 exhibition and educational programme in Estonia is jointly curated by the Embassies of Poland and the United States as well as the American Space in Narva, the American Corner in Kuressaare and the American Corner in Viljandi City Library.

The special exhibition is organised in cooperation with the Chancellery of the Riigikogu. The exhibition will be open until 14 June, and can be visited on working days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors need to present an identity document to gain entry to Toompea Castle.

Photos (Erik Peinar, Chancellery of the Riigikogu)

Riigikogu Press Service
Gunnar Paal,
+372 631 6351, +372 5190 2837
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