Brazilian and Ukrainian street artists unite for art mural in Sao Paulo 

Famous street artists, Brazilian Eduardo Kobra and Ukrainian Sasha Korban will unite for the first time with the Ukrainian Institute to unveil a stunning mural in Sao Paulo.  

‘The Exchange’ mural, to be painted collaboratively by the two artists on the side of a large building in Pinheiros, Sao Paulo, symbolises not only Brazil and Ukraine’s shared love of street art, but both nations’ firm commitment to protecting the environment. Watch the teaser trailer here. 

The mural combines the beauty of the environment with the destruction caused by war.  

Kobra’s famous multi-coloured style will be set in a pair of hands to represent the strength of Ukraine and the resilience of the environment to overcome the destruction caused by war.  

Korban’s response incorporates a Ukrainian dancer who mimics the movement of the butterflies, reinforcing the flight of freedom Ukrainians hope to take. 

The ongoing conflict has turned millions of hectares of Ukraine into devastated minefields filled with shells and toxic chemicals, and caused widespread environmental destruction. The devastation of Ukraine’s environment has touched people globally, including in Brazil – a leader in climate action, where people are passionate about the environment. 

This collaborative art piece underscores the importance and value of international co-operation – whether through street artists or nations – and our collective responsibility to safeguard our planet for future generations to come. 

The project has been led by the Ukrainian Institute and the artist exchange and mural represent the first project the Ukrainian Institute has undertaken in Brazil. 

Eduardo Kobra said: 

“To create the mural, I was inspired by a ceramic vase, with the colours of the Ukrainian flag. I added different people’s hands to represent the shared strength of Ukraine. To connect the two sides of the building, we chose butterflies in the colours of the Brazilian and Ukrainian flags coming out of the container and meeting Sasha’s mural. It was my way of symbolising the resilience, unity, resistance, and hope of the Ukrainian people to rebuild the country.” 

Sasha Korban said: 

“The environment is a forgotten victim of war and conflict. I want this piece to show that, in the face of Russia’s deliberate destruction of our precious ecosystems, and despite being under daily attack, the people of Ukraine will do everything they can to ensure that nature will flourish once again. In my response to Eduardo’s designs, I wanted to convey that sense of hope and resilience that a green, peaceful future delivers. From my time in Brazil, I’ve seen the passion people here have for the natural world, and everything they do to protect the environment.” 

Alim Aliev, Deputy Director of the Ukrainian Institute, said: 

“The Ukrainian Institute had a vision to start an exchange between two artists that represent Brazil and Ukraine to build connection, understanding and a sense of shared value through culture and creativity. The Exchange is about togetherness – showcasing the importance of the environment and how vital it is to safeguard the lives, identity and livelihoods of children and future generations.”  

The Ukrainian Ambassador to Brazil, His Excellency Andrii Melnyk, said: 

“Two years on from Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the deliberate environmental damage from the war has brought devastating consequences for essential infrastructures, natural resources, critical ecosystems and people’s health, livelihoods and security. Despite this, Ukraine has a positive ambition to deliver the revitalization program, creating a greener and prosperous future, just like Brazil.”