Stop the genocide in Europe! A petition from the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw

Kinder Album, "Yesterday Lviv Rocked by Powerful Explosions", 2022

The evidence of war crimes uncovered in recent days in Bucha and other towns around Kyiv is the ultimate confirmation that what we are witnessing here is genocide.

Can we stand by and watch this happen? Is the current level of European military, logistical, economic and diplomatic aid sufficient? What can we do to stop the rape, torture, and mass deliberate murder of civilians, including children, elderly and disabled people? The bombing of hospitals, schools and kindergartens, the abductions and executions?

No one wants to see the war unleashed by Russia spread to the territories of other countries. No one wants an escalation of the conflict, which could end with the use of nuclear weapons. With our experience of the Second World War and the Holocaust, however, we know that violence will not stop on its own. Attempts to negotiate with dictators, to wait until they themselves give up further conquests, lead only to more crimes. In Warsaw, Berlin, Paris or Madrid, we are under the illusion that we are safe. But we are already at war. We are responsible for how we vote, how accustomed we get to images of violence, in an attempt to soothe our conscience with shipments of emergency aid. It will get worse as time goes by, the humanitarian and economic crisis will deepen. Even if it is not our cities that the bombs are falling on, this war will penetrate our homes. It will destroy societies plagued by fear, poverty and remorse, it will ruin our fragile democracy. This is just what the dictators are waiting for.

So we call for no more time to be wasted! Putin is using weapons banned by international conventions, he is trampling on Europe's peaceful achievements, he is reaching for the lands, resources and lives of a neighbouring country. He may be about to attack other countries. We call for the strongest possible pressure to be applied on our governments, the European Union and NATO. Our actions must be uncompromising and unprecedented.

We call for increased efforts and funding for military and humanitarian aid. Any amount of military equipment is needed.
The skies over Ukraine must be defended just as much as its soil and cities, and the Ukrainian air force must be provided with functioning assault aircraft.
Maximise sanctions, immediately stop feeding Russia with millions of dollars for fossil fuels. We call for an effective halt to the assault on Ukraine!

Maria Arusoo, director, Estonian Centre for Contemporary Art, Tallin
Alexandra Bachzetsis, artist, Zurich
Edwin Bendyk, journalist, Warsaw 
Claire Bishop, art historian, New York 
Miriam Cahn, artist, Stampa
Sebastian Cichocki, curator, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
Vasyl Cherepanyn, director, Visual Culture Research Centre, Kyiv 
Alison M. Gingeras, curator, New York and Warsaw 
Alistair Hudson, director, Manchester University’s Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester 
Alicja Knast, art historian, Prague 
Kestutis Kuizinas, director, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius
Paweł Łysak, director, Powszechny Theatre, Warsaw 
Annie Fletcher, director, Irish Museum of Modern Art
Grzegorz Jarzyna, director, TR Warszawa
Ewa Majewska, philiosopher, Universität der Künste Berlin
Michał Murawski, anthropologist, University College London
Joanna Mytkowska, director, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
Zofia nierodzińska, curator, Arsenał Gallery
November Paynter, museum curator, Toronto
Marek Pokorný, director, Ostrava City Gallery PLATO
Oleksiy Radynsky, writer, filmmaker, Visual Culture Research Centre, Kyiv
Laura Raicovich, curator, writer, New York 
Anda Rottenberg, curator, Warsaw 
Piotr Rypson, curator, Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw 
Hedwig Saxenhuber, curator, Vienna 
Georg Schöllhammer editor in chief springerin, head of, editor springerin, Vienna
Natalia Sielewicz, curator, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
Tereza Stejskalová, programme director,, Prague 
Monika Strzępka, director, Dramatyczny Theater, Warsaw 
Monika Szewczyk, director, Arsenał Gallery, Białystok 
Kuba Szreder, Kuba Szreder lecturer Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw
Adam Szymczyk, curator, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam  
Waldemar Tatarczuk, artist, curator, Lublin 
Magdalena Ujma, president AICA Poland, Cracow 
Marek Wasilewski, director, Arsenał Gallery, Poznań
Jamieson Webster, PhD, The New School for Social Research, New York 
Paweł Wodziński, director, Biennale Warszawa, Warsaw 

& „The Sunflower” Solidarity Community Centre (Maria Beburia, Taras Gembik, Yulia Krivich, Jakub Depczyński, Bogna Stefańska, Kaja Kusztra, Weronika Wysocka), Warsaw 

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