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COMMUNIQUE I Cancellation of the HOPES exhibitions and project in Russia in support of the Ukrainian



As HOPES begins its international tour, I have decided to cancel all projects I had with Symbiom in Russia due to its declaration of war on Ukraine.


Like many committed authors, I have been fighting for the promotion of peace for many years. I think it is our duty, as writers, activist artists to show our full support to the Ukrainian people in these difficult times, and our total opposition to the genocidal policies of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.


Nevertheless, I will not fall into the trap of amalgam, having many friends in Russia, especially Moscow and St. Petersburg: Putin is not the Russian people and many Russians are totally opposed to the war. I mourn as much for the dead Russians as for the dead Ukrainians, in this fratricidal conflict which makes absolutely no sense and adds absurdity to horror.


This decision to cancel the exhibition may seem paradoxical in the sense that HOPES, which has seen four Nobel Peace Prize winners participate in its development, wants to be committed against war, and denounce the risks that nuclear weapons represent as a major threat to the future of humanity. A large chapter of the book is devoted to this and is included in our exhibitions. But I can't bring myself to continue to work on projects in Russia in view of the situation.


Of course, I will continue to fight for the ideas and values that I defend in my books and especially as a whistleblower, all the more so on military and civil nuclear issues at the heart of the news.


In my prospective work, there have been many times in the last few years when I would have liked so much to be wrong in my analyses. Unfortunately, current events have instead validated my analysis and my fears, proving me right, just as they have proven my friends from ICAN, Jean-Marie Collin and Setsuko Thurlow, who participated in HOPES and who received the Nobel Prize precisely for their fight for the abolition of nuclear weapons, right. Setsuko's words in HOPES, which testified to her memory of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima which she miraculously survived, should resonate (and reason) in our minds. The situation proves to us that the threat of nuclear war was not at all science fiction, as I have heard myself say far too often.


In the same way, the worrying situation in Chernobyl, but also on the sites of the 15 other reactors in Ukraine, must lead us to rethink our energy policy. A blind and irresponsible policy against which I have also been committed for years, and in particular since the writing of "Resilience" where I denounced the risk of seeing one day nuclear installations bombed during an armed conflict. Some nuclear enthusiasts are currently using the increase in gas prices to justify a so-called advantage of nuclear power which would ensure a certain independence of France from Russian gas. They hide the fact that the Ukrainian nuclear sites are currently threatening us all because of the fighting that is taking place in these areas. I would also like to remind you that we have agreements with Russia concerning the reprocessing of our uranium, of which we send 1,000 tons annually to Tomsk (without this obviously posing any ethical problem in our country) via a collaboration between Orano (Areva), EDF, and the Russians Tenex and Rosatom. One wonders what will happen to these agreements in the weeks to come.


The HOPES exhibition, which is beginning its international tour, will not go to Russia, but the other presentations are maintained, starting in Brussels in a few days.


My thoughts are with all the victims of the war tonight, in Ukraine as in Russia. Tonight, I refuse to lose hope. Humanity, in its vast majority, has demonstrated in recent days its opposition to war throughout the world. Wars have no place on Earth today. On the contrary, people must imperatively unite against our only common enemy: the climatic and environmental peril that threatens us all.


Spes Manet,


Yannick Monget



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