Dear European Design friends
We, just like everyone else right now, are extremely saddened and horrified to be watching the unbelievable events unfolding during the Russian invasion in Ukraine.
It is hard to believe that things like this are happening in places where our friends live and work. There are lots of Ukrainian designers that would always take an active part in the European Design Awards and Festival. We have past and current jury members that live in Kyiv. It’s so easy to relate with them and this makes things even more painful. Our thoughts at this time are with all of our friends who are being affected by the war.
Of course, at times such as these, we feel helpless. What can we do? Is there anything that we can do that could help? Nothing seems big enough when the tragedy is this substantial. Still… we cannot stand and just watch.
First of all, there are simple and small things. Regarding the Ukrainian participants of the ED-Awards, we have already tried (and partly succeeded) to get in touch with them to return all fees that they have paid in this year’s competition. All submissions coming from Ukraine will compete for this year free of charge. This is simple and small, but it’s also self-evident. It can’t be otherwise.
And how about our Russian participants? We want to make sure everyone understands that we empathise with them too. Surely their country is the aggressor, but in reality, this is not a war between Russia and Ukraine. Let’s be clear about this: This is Putin’s war. We are proud to see the Russian creative community in unison stand up against the regime and stand by peace. And keep in mind that their stance against injustice, cruelty and tyranny comes with the danger of persecution and severe consequences for speaking out!Despite this fact, that we acknowledge and honour in regards to the Russian design community, we have decided to take some sort of action to display our disproval of the Russian regime. The name of “Russia” is not going to be visible on our website. It’s just a symbolic move, but we want to make sure that it is understandable on all sides that a crime is being committed and all is not “business as usual”.
Further more, both our Russian jury members (on their own initiative) have asked for their names to be withdrawn from this year’s juries.
And now we come to the important part: The European Design Awards & Festival have managed to gather around them an amazing community of creative people who are real opinion leaders. People who can, better than anyone else, get their message through. We are already preparing an action that will help our Ukrainian partners (to be announced soon), but we want to hear from you too. We want you to tell us what more we could do to help. Share your ideas with us. How can we use our platform to make even a tiny positive change for the people who are currently suffering?
Please be aware that we are also in direct communication with Ukrainian designers as well as one of their major associations, the All-Ukrainian Advertising Coalition to ask them for ways in which we can be useful and we will keep everyone posted on their feedback.
Bellow you will find information on what you can do to help. All links provided by our Ukranian friends themselves: