Queer artist Artur Snitkus killed in action on the frontline

11 july, 2024

The 36-year-old artist was an open gay and died during a combat mission on the frontline.

Artur Snitkus. Source: life.nv.ua
Queer artist, drag performer, stylist, and musician Artur Snitkus was killed in action on one of the toughest fronts of the Russian-Ukrainian war. This happened on June 7, 2024, in Donetsk region, reported Ternopil mayor Serhiy Nadal.

Artur Snitkus was born on May 13, 1988, in Ternopil. He was known in underground circles as a queer icon, an extraordinarily open, free, and compassionate person. He appeared in Oleksiy Radynsky's film "Shift" (as part of the group "O"), performed in drag queen personas in various clubs, and was a friend of Otel’ club founder Pavlo Derhachov, musicians Anatoliy Belov and Gosha Babansky from the "Ludska Podoba" band, curator and artist Nikita Kadan, among others. Many representatives of Ukrainian art and underground culture wrote about Artur's death. Here are a few of the tributes:

"You are our soulful legendary angel. An icon of the Ukrainian queer underground. Your beautiful voice was always full of energy and strength, which we will always keep in our hearts in your memory," shares cultural project coordinator Nataliya Martynenko.

"I met Artur in 2011. It was a chance but very vivid meeting. I remember how he immediately impressed me with his impeccable sense of humor, openness, and artistry... It was always warm and cozy around him. An extraordinary person, bright, charismatic, talented, provocative, a true artist with all the inherent advantages and disadvantages of such a person," writes photographer and artist Sasha Kurmaz.

"We were not personally close, but I was always impressed by the incredible energy he radiated. It seemed that Artur was a character who had stepped into our reality straight from Warhol's Factory," says illustrator Iryna Kostyshyna.
Artur Snitkus. Source: static.nv.ua
In a video published by artist Vladyslav Plisetsky, Artur Snitkus explains his motivation to serve: "In my life, it so happened that I had to choose whether to join the army. And at one point... faced with the idea that... 'You can't handle it, you won't make it,' I became curious. It turned into a kind of social experiment. I thought, why not? Why not see, not find out what it's like from the inside... I wanted to know what changes could happen to me as a creative person. And for me, this is the most interesting experience that can be at this stage."

Announcing Snitkus's death, artist Oleksa Mann recalled that photographer Arsen Fedosenko and OUN battalion commander Mykola Kokhanivsky also recently died on the frontline. "I constantly think about how they were absolutely different people in views and life paths. So opposite that it's impossible to invent on purpose. And they died defending Ukraine. In this diversity and contrasts lies our strength and culture, which is important for me to remember and understand. And to be understanding of different fates and lives," says the artist.
Artur Snitkus during his service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Source: online.ua
In turn, the Military LGBT+ organization reminded: "While LGBT+ military personnel, on equal footing with other defenders, give their lives for Ukraine's freedom, they still have to fight for equality in the civil sphere. We once again urge the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to be more active in passing laws No. 5488 on increasing penalties for hate crimes and No. 9103 on registered partnerships."

You can help Artur Snitkus's family through the Monobank link.