The Idea behind The Pink Rider

I invited a several of fantastic artist (painters, graphic designers, street artist) – my friends from UK, Poland and Ukraine to designed cycling caps special and unique for my social work as The Pink Rider in the Donbass in Ukraine. 

My name is Sebastian and I am an independent cinematographer based in Glasgow in Scoland. I have been making an independent documentary about the situation in the Donbass in Ukraine, focused on the socio-philosophic aftermath of this war for 5 years now. The war in Donbas has not changed for the last 6 years, currently it has just disappeared from the mainstream of information.
You can read about it on my blog:
Currently (October-December, 2020) on the Donbass in Ukraine I am realising the artistic “The Pink Rider” performance, during which I am cycling around the military zone to create “Premortal portraits” of the forgotten inhabitants of Donbas. “The Pink Rider” is an alter ego created especially for the purpose of my work. It is the result of the absurd of the reality found there as well as an experimental attempt to reflect on the essence of humanity in the modern world. A world dominated by large urban centres and sterile, calculated media headlines, which imitate reality rather than describe it.

We raise money for children from the Donbass – war zone (50%) and for Sebastian’s future charity  no-profit organization, who will be researching conflicts territory and areas of humanitarian deprivation – continue to cause death displacement and suffering on a massive scale.

We are activists, storytellers, bike lovers and the common people of the neighbourhood, connected that are working to bring about social and education justice


“The Pink Rider” is a kind of my alter ego, especially created for the project’s purpose. In “The Pink Rider – The Line” performance I cycle around Donbas, as a bicycle is a natural transport for the people in the “provinces”. This bicycle symbol is a kind of a link between the “province” and the city. I also cycle in Glasgow. The bicycle allows me to experience direct contact with the road, nature and people. I have with me only the essentials for survival and photographic equipment to record (which is also a form of an interaction) everything that I encounter on my way. I try to move from village to village without setting myself any particular time frame, giving in to the situation and the road. I do my work in quite specific conditions, on the front line, so I take into account all the adversities of this situation. I want to create photographic portraits of the people of Donbas, already a little forgotten and left on the margins of history, of the aforementioned considered unnecessary “province”.


Officially, there is no “art” involved. The path I take to reach my heroes (present and future ones) may be associated with an adventure, tourism or sport (bicycle), something that is not directly related to art, but in this case the choreography of the moment is important. And my work synchronises all its components. My own corporeal presence, experiencing this path, people, situations and reality is like a framework. Therefore, I find this process very personal. For me, it is an internally important, individual challenge, in which it is impossible to escape from a certain pathos.

My work even sins with absurd to some extent, it has elements of daydreaming and nonsense, it is “useless” in a documentary form. However, it is also a reflection of the absurd situation found there, which war belongs to. An example of the absurdity and symbolism is, among others, a silver-coloured bicycle – reflective, it is not only my current means of transport, but also a medium for experiencing Donbas in the most primal way. Part of the symbolism constitutes also a pink bicycle helmet. It is an intermediate colour between white and red. It is a symbol of love and serenity, but pink also causes uncomfortable associations in some people.

I try to devote this path to reflection and observation, to read metaphors and be their natural, symbolising component. I try to unify the time without being distracted by tourism. Donbass exists as a symbol and I try to capture a fragment of it, which I personally experience.

I believe in my work, I do not know if it changes anything, but I know that every action showing the nonsense and degradative properties of war is important and necessary.

You can fallow my route on bike here:
I use a has tag: #thepinkriderforchange