Peace carillons mark one year of war in Ukraine

February 24th 2023 marks the one-year ‘anniversary’ of the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops.

Carillonneurs in several European countries publicly commemorate this day by playing their carillons.

Between Kyiv and Leuven (Belgium) a symbolic interplay of the carillonneurs of both cities is taking place. They take turns in playing Ukrainian songs and songs of peace.

This commemoration opens with the national anthem; ‘Sjtsje ne vmerla Oekrajiny’ which means ‘Ukraine has not yet perished’. The commemoration closes with the hymn ‘Verleih uns Frieden’.

In Kyiv, carillonneur Iryna Riabchun plays on a mobile carillon in front of St. Sophia Cathedral. On social media, this peace concert can be followed worldwide.

In numerous countries, carillonneurs play their carillons, as many of them did also when war broke out a year ago. Buildings and churches are highlighted with blue-yellow; the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

In the Netherlands, where the editors of the website reside, all the carillonneurs participate. For half an hour they play Ukrainian songs and songs of peace. Then the bells are rung to remember the countless victims of this war.

This cultural event is intended as a political-ethical statement of peace. It can be considered a form of expressive acts, as care ethicist Annelies van Heijst calls such acts that are valuable in se. Such acts are not able to influence the course of events; the value lies in what is expressed. Let this first ‘anniversary’ of the war be the last.

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