On the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, harpist Alexander Boldachev laid a white banner at a war monument in the centre of Hong Kong and played his instrument to commemorate those who have lost their lives during the conflict.
“Mourn for the victims of the war, and inspire those who stand for our future,” the banner read.
Dozens of passers-by were drawn to watch the musician’s one-hour public performance, with some staying for more than twenty minutes, an HKFP reporter observed.
After the performance, Boldachev said that he was from Russia and his intent was to mourn the victims of the war, irrespective of which side they were on.
The musician said he hoped people would be less indifferent to each other. He also called for other artists to join him in promoting his message.
“The biggest crimes of the world happened because of our indifference,” Boldachev said.
The artist’s speech won a round of applause.
Speaking to reporters after his performance, Bordachev revealed that he left Russia last March soon after the war broke out.
The harpist then began travelling around the world to perform and promote his message – to call for everyone to stand together, move towards the future, and stop dwelling on the past.
“The main motivation of this war is the fight between the past and the future. And the Russian regime is defending the past… their power, their legitimacy, their finance and control,” the musician said.
The rapport in the audience
Gabrielle Ng, a member of the audience who stood and listened to Boldachev’s music echoed the musician’s thoughts.
“I think those who died or injured should be regarded irrespective of their nationalities. I personally think that they are all innocent. The loss of their families and lives is not necessary,” Ng said.
Another passer-by, Cindy Cheung, who said she was from Macau and was visiting Hong Kong as a tourist, stayed until the harpist finished his performance with her 10-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter.
She said she had told her children about the ongoing war, “but frankly speaking, our feelings are not that deep as it is very far away from us.”
Cheung said she appreciated that the harpist was trying to draw other’s attention to the war but was worried that his message would not travel very far without media coverage.
Correction 10:15p.m.: A previous version of the article mistakenly stated the harpist’s name as Alexander Bordachev, it should be Alexander Boldachev. We regret the error.
Help safeguard press freedom & keep HKFP free for all readers by supporting our team
Support press freedom & help us surpass 1,000 monthly Patrons: 100% independent, governed by an ethics code & not-for-profit.