SWEET PEAS WATERCOLOURS

Some watercolours of the piggies in my book Sweet Peas that I painted for the Gothenburg Book Fair last year, with some backstories about them.

Andrei was the gunner in a T-194 tank crew in what became known as The Final War among some of the few piggies who survived. He now thinks he joined the army for quite foolish reasons – partly in the belief that he could make a difference from the inside, partly for the money and benefits offered, and partly due to pressure to ‘prove himself’ as a half-Congolese Russian piggy. Then again, his intimate knowledge of war machinery brought him together with Chulpán when he deserted and joined the Resistance.

On the hill above Chulpán’s place are the ruins of a manor house that was ransacked and abandoned already in the revolution. The building where she’s set herself up was originally the gatekeeper’s lodge. The ruins of Tsarist Russia were since joined by rusting mecha from the war.

Vasik and Tanya on one of the Soyuz-3 rockets on the school playground, remains from the strange times when piggies explored the cosmos, before the civilization as it was known collapsed.

Chulpán fishing in the river. They believe that the cesium concentration in their local freshwater fish is by now low enough to not make it significantly more unsafe for piggy consumption than other food sources.

Fetihe has covered the mirrors in her house after her husband passed away. She was the youngest piggy who still remained in the village after the economy had collapsed. While her first husband worked in the far north for months at a time, Fetihe stayed with her parents and farmed for subsistence, and he would come home to her on breaks, only sometimes with wages for his work. During the war her husband disappeared and was presumed dead. Later she remarried with one of the survivors who found their way to the village. Now she is widowed for the second time.

Khadijat in the activist days of her youth in Moscow in the late 2010’s. She was involved in various self-defense antifa groups, the self-organized syndicalist workers union SWU, and as the war expanded, in the Resistance.

Shurik stopping to wonder at how he, a casually antifascist Nigerian-Russian hardcore fan piggy from the big city, got involved in political activism through friends, and thanks to that ended up as one of the few survivors of a catastrophic war, building an anarcho-syndicalist community in the ruins of a Bashkir village.

Stiopa checking radiation levels on a supply run in one of the surrounding cities, looking for materials that can be salvaged and reused. Stiopa miraculously survived the Final Event of the war, and got by on his own for a while. He was still only a piglet when he met Andrei, Chulpán and the other Anarchist piggies who had been hiding in caves in the Ural mountains since the Resistance was broken up.

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