I will cycle from Narva, Estonia down to the Ukrainian border. My route will follow the Russian and Belarus borders until I reach Ukraine. The purpose of my mission is to encourage people to donate to Slava Ukraini, an NGO supplying front-line medics in Ukraine with emergency ambulances and first aid equipment. They make sure that the help is reaching the ones who need it the most.
I’ll start cycling on the eve of May 23, which marks three months since the beginning of the Russian aggression Ukraine. Our neighbours, ruled by Putin, are bombing Ukrainian homes and killing innocent people, raping women and children. By now, photos of dead bodies and demolished lands have become so normal that it won’t even catch our eye anymore. But we can’t lose our focus.
The cycling route is around 1700 km which will take me about a week to complete. You can follow me through the elektron.art platform and at the Estonian Academy for Arts (EKA) graduation exhibition TASE. I want to show how close Estonia is to Ukraine – just a few days cycling away. The route itself runs close to the aggressors’ borders, to show that the conflict is closer than one realizes and the abstract sense of danger is in fact real.
The goal of Slava Ukraini’s call for support on toeta.me is to raise 20,000 euros, it is also the goal of my mission.
You can donate here: https://toeta.me/projects/ambulances-slava-ukrainy-ngo
Mathias Väärsi is an Estonian artist, designer and an ultra-cyclist who was born on December 23, 1988 at 11.55 pm in Tartu maternity hospital. He was named after the amateur pilot Mathias Rust, who flew through the allegedly impenetrable air defense system of the USSR on May 28, 1987. This project is part of Väärsi's graduation thesis in Contemporary Art MA programme at the Estonian Academy of Arts.