"Falling" is an interactive installation and data visualization project
that tells the story of the devastating impact of war on Ukraine.
by Elena Rabkina
The "Falling" interactive installation covers the devastating effects of war in Ukraine. The piece visualizes the latest statement by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskij on the amount of rockets that have fallen on the country, revealing that less than 10% of the bombs are represented by the 300 knives used in the installation. Despite the seemingly small fraction, each knife symbolizes destruction, pain, and loss.
At the core of the installation lies the recognition of the immense difference between numbers and the human experience that lies behind them. While our brains may struggle to grasp the difference between 2500 and 3000 bombs, the installation aims to bridge that gap and allow visitors to emotionally connect with the toll of war on the people of Ukraine.
The installation is designed for the European audience, which is not directly affected by the war, but can learn and reflect on the scale of the tragedy. By using knives as a symbol of destruction and pain, the installation evokes a range of emotions and invites the audience to participate in the experience. Stepping onto the platform and raising the knives creates a sense of participation and responsibility, while also underscoring the futility of violence and importance to the constant attention to the matter, as the knives gets into the previous position as long as you step down from the platform.
Overall, "Falling" is a poignant and thought-provoking work of art that challenges us to reflect on the nature of conflict and the human cost of war, inviting us to be agents of change and advocates for peace.
"At first I looked at the end, trying to figure it out. Turned on the siren on my headphones and started walking. Knives were everywhere and there was nowhere to run from them in this way forward. The sound of the knives touching my headphones added to the experience. I walked over to the booth at the end and read what I had already guessed were bombs. At one point, in the midst of those knives, I got scared and tears came to my eyes."
"When I was among these knives, no matter how hard I tried to get past them, some found me. The danger was coming from above and there was no place to hide. From the far the installation look nice, but when you come inside - it’s not nice at all. Sound made me very emotional - my eyes moistened. And it’s changing you - this sudden switch from being in your daily routine into being surrounded by danger”.
Exhibited in the public space of Frankfurt (Oder), Germany in 2022.
Idea and concept by Elena Rabkina.
Construction: Elena Rabkina, Sofia Brem, Ilda Kurti, Orest Dovhan, Yuliia Trymorush, Robert Schwaß, Nathan Rubene dos Santos, Nicoleta Jantoan, Aleksandr Klymenko.