A city in Ukraine has gone over to the dark side. A regal statue of Darth Vader has dethroned one of Vladimir Lenin in Yuzhne, a city just outside of Odessa, as local website Dumskaya first reported — probably the best response so far to the ban against communist symbols implemented by the country’s legislators this April.
In accordance with the decommunization law, the statue had been prepared for demolition, but workers at the factory where the former Soviet leader once stood requested a redesign rather than a removal. Tasked with transforming the former monument, local artist Alexander Milov — who also contributed a metal cage sculpture to Burning Man this year — chose to give it a new, shiny, badass shell. According to Dumskaya, the bronze Lenin is still encased within, transformed into the Sith Lord via titanium alloy adhered to the original statue with special glue — kind of like a bizarre Matryoshka doll, or the medical procedure that transformed Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader in Revenge of the Syth — “so that the grateful or not so grateful descendents could exhume him, if needed,” Milov told Ukraine Today. His head, however, was replaced with Darth’s helmet; within, a tool equipping the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Fleet with a powerful force: a router, to beam out free wifi to all.
The transformation isn’t as surprising as one would think, however. This is, after all, Ukraine, where the so-called “Internet Party” last year registered a representative dressed as the Jedi-turned-Sith Lord to run for prime minister (he lost).
As arts communities around the world experience a time of challenge and change, accessible, independent reporting on these developments is more important than ever.
Please consider supporting our journalism, and help keep our independent reporting free and accessible to all.