Prague street artist unveils new mural in support of Ukraine

ChemiS, a Czech street artist with Kazakh roots, has created a new mural in Prague 4 featuring a girl taking shelter under a Ukrainian flag.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 19.03.2022 09:57:00 (updated on 25.02.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

A new mural featuring a young girl taking shelter under a Ukrainian flag with popular figures from children's entertainment can now be seen on Mojmírova street in Prague 4, a few blocks from Náměstí Bratří Synků.

ChemiS, the artist behind the work, told journalists on Friday that the mural is an an expression of his stance against the war in Ukraine, and an appeal for continued support of Ukrainians affected by the war.

"Ukraine is now fighting to protect their future and their freedom, as well as ours," ChemiS writes on Facebook. "As a father of two, I cannot imagine the helplessness, pain and fear that ordinary people experience."

"We have all seen footage of bodies, ruined cities and full gyms of women with children and their grandparents. Please keep helping and showing what values we stand for."

The artist's mural features a young girl surrounded by popular children's figures from around the world. They include the Czech Republic's Little Mole (Krtek), Germany's Maya the Bee, a Finnish Moomin, Poland's Bolek and Lolek, France's Obelix, and American icon Mickey Mouse.

The characters are intended to represent the universal nature of childhood, reminding onlookers that children in Ukraine are also children of the world, and that Ukraine is now protecting all of us from a global threat.

ChemiS, whose real name is Dmitry Proškin, is one of the Czech Republic's most renowned street artists, and has created murals across the world. His work has previously adorned the Graffiti Hall of Fame in New York's Harlem district, one of the birthplaces of street art.

In the Czech Republic, the artist is best known for a portrait of Václav Havel, the first president of the Czech Republic, presented after his death in 2011. He also painted a large mural of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, the first president of the independent Czechoslovakia, on the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia.

Proškin is originally from Kazakhstan, and has lived in the Czech Republic since the age of six. He speaks Russian when calling relatives from his home country, and recent events have drawn attention to his native language.

"I think about that because people's reactions to people who speak a different language are certainly influenced by the situation that has arisen," Proškin told PrahaIn. "I've never thought about it before. Now I think about it."

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