38 Artists Create 'Mariupol', A 'Living' NFT To Raise Money For Ukraine


38 digital artists and creators have come together in just three weeks to create dark and harrowing artwork to raise money for Ukraine. The piece, which will live on the blockchain as a Non Fungible Token (NFT), will take center stage at this year's Non Fungible Conference in Lisbon. All the funds raised by the sale will go to Voices of Children to provide psychological support to child victims of war.

'Mariupol' is designed to draw attention to the horrific bombing of the piece's namesake city by invading Russian forces. So far, up to 5000 people are estimated to have been killed in the city. Yesterday evening on a call with the French President, President Putin of Russia threatened to continue bombing the city until it surrounded, putting thousands more lives in jeopardy.

"Like everyone on this continent, and in this world, I am horrified by the images we are getting from Ukraine of innocent civilians being bombed once again," says John Karp, founder of Non Fungible Conference and one of the curators of the artwork. "The horror, disgust and pain forces people to act. It makes bystanders want to do something. I hope this artwork can be a testament to the power of community and collaboration, and proof that, whilst there is still too much evil and suffering in this world, there is plenty of good left in it too."

The artists themselves have taken inspiration from Picasso's 'Guernica', painted after the horrific 1937 bombing of the city with the same name. The piece became famous for illustrating the first civilian massacre by aerial bombardment.

Unlike most NFT artworks, 'Mariupol' is dynamic and interactive. The artwork is a "living" artwork, whose final appearance will depend on its owner. 'Mariupol' will be published on Async.art, a platform that allows digital artworks to be divided into their constituent layers so that individual collectors may control the final look of the image – which can change at any time. The auction will be sold to a total of 14 collectors, with one master NFT and thirteen layer NFTs.

"Everyone has become witnesses to the tragedy and brutality happening in Ukraine," says crashbl, one of the many artists involved. "Just like Guernica bears witness to a brutal bombing of its time, our collaborative, multi-layered artwork pictures a similar reality happening again today. Today we see it through the multiple lenses of decentralized digital media, but the reality is the same. War defies sense, interpretations cannot penetrate, but we all bear witness."