Reflection: Ukrainian band Yah tell a story of isolation in this animated music video

16 February 2017

Kiev-based indie rock band Yah tell the story of a lonely, ageing emigrant in their first animated music video, inspired by Russian novelist Yuri Mamleev’s short story Reflection.

The video for the song Whye comes from the band’s catchily titled EP Wee Woo, and was created as the result of a collaboration between artists, animators and directors working together as Glut Production.

Yah’s black-and-white clip, animated by Oksana Nesenenko and Igor Atamachuk, with Asia Shulgina serving as screenwriter and director, sees its protagonist lose his sense of reality and his shadow take on a life of its own. In its portrayal of one man’s spiral into near total isolation, the grotesque video clip for Whye echoes the otherworldly quality of metaphysical realism, a literary trend of which Mamleev (d. 2015) was a founder.

The protagonist seems to perpetually have the question “Why?” on his lips — the makers behind the video told The Calvert Journal that “any piece of art is about asking questions, not answering them”.