Sand Stories of Kseniya Simonova

Mythos means “a thing told,” an utterance, a story.

Mythology is the art of passing down culture, lessons, ideas through stories which pluck at our souls, our dreams, our emotions, not just our rational minds.

Bards are the purveyors of mythology in many societies. A bard is more than a storyteller, although a bard works through the medium of stories. Traditional bards passed on cultural values, memorialized chieftains and warriors, challenged those in power by raising awareness of problems in society, gave voice to cultural celebrations and local rituals, and inspired with words.

Kseniya Simonova is a bard. She tells tales with sand grains and light instead of words. They are modern myths, although she has also told a Norse-themed sand-poem, the myths of St. Nicholas, and sand animations of many different cultures’ local symbols, heroes and events. Like a modern-day bard, Simonova has performed to honor kings (this one’s beautiful), and she has raised awareness of painful issues of society, like her unforgettable Children of Chernobyl sand story.

It was hard to pick just one of her sand stories, but here’s the first one, the one that made her famous, telling a Ukrainian audience the tale of their people’s experiences during World War II.

Simonova’s sand performances encompass beauty, wonder, joy, tragedy, cultural and political symbolism, and compassion. I urge you to browse her video channel and discover her magic.

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