ukranian history

Shit Fountain, 2004, Jerzy S. Kenar

Chicago based sculptor Jerzy Kenar created the public art piece, located at 1001 N Wolcott at Augusta in the East Village neighborhood, in response to those in his neighborhood who refused to pick up after their dogs. 

Arguably his most recognizable piece (lol), Kenar has created many other public art installations all over the city. Learn more about him here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerzy_Kenar

If you decide to visit Shit Fountain, please be respectful, as it does sit outside the artist’s home. 

2

Olga of Kiev

Grand Princess of Kiev and Russian Eastern Orthodox Saint.

Born c. 890 - Died 969 (aged 79)

Claim to Fame: A formidable Princess Regent that brutally avenged her husband’s murder, protected the throne of her son and was the first Rus’ ruler to convert to Christianity, eventually becoming a Saint.

When Princess Olga’s son was three, her husband Igor was murdered by the Drevlians, and Olga became Regent of Kievan Rus for the next 18 years. The Drevlians wanted their Prince Mal to marry Olga, so she used his advances as an opportunity to destroy the Drevlians and avenge her husband.

According to Slavic chronicles, Olga conducted her revenge in four stages.

Stage One: The Drevlians sent twenty men to persuade Olga to marry Mal. She had them buried alive.

Stage Two: Olga accepted the proposal, but required Mal to send his most distinguished men to escort her. When the men arrived she burned them alive.

Stage Three: Olga invited the remaining Drevlians to a funeral feast and when they were drunk, Olga’s soldiers killed over 5,000 of them. When they begged for mercy, Olga asked for a bird from each house to appease her.

Stage Four: Olga attached embers to the birds and released them. When they returned to their nests, they burned the Drevlian village to the ground. Fleeing villagers were either killed, kept as slaves or forced into complete subjugation (pictured above in the Radziwiłł Chronicle).

Princess Olga remained Regent of Kievan Rus with the support and love of her people. She defeated rivals, built forts, defended the city, instigated the first recorded legal reform in Eastern Europe and was the first Rus’ ruler to convert to Christianity. She continued to evade suitors and retain the power of the throne for her son. Even after Prince Svyatoslav came to power, she remained as Regent during his military campaigns until her death.

Olga’s efforts to spread Christianity resulted in her grandson Vladimir the Great converting the state religion to Eastern Orthodoxy and her becoming one of the first Rus’ to be proclaimed a saint in 1146.