The text "How to Talk to the Dead" by Anastasiia Kosodii, translated by John Freedman with Natalia Bratus, is a reflection on the author's encounter with images of Ukrainians killed by Russians. The author describes four photos she saw, including a man being lifted from a mass grave, a woman with lilies of the valley beside her, a partially open body bag with a man's head visible, and a girl with severe facial injuries. The author then recalls an interview with an artist who exhumes bodies and speaks of hearing sounds at night and being willing to talk to the dead.
The text transitions to the theme of how to communicate with the deceased, emphasizing that no special workshops are necessary. The author suggests that by acknowledging the dead as a fact of life, sharing stories, and imagining them, one can establish a connection. The author provides snippets of everyday life in Kyiv, mentioning locations, activities, and personal care products. The text encourages inventing stories through which the dead can speak and express the life that was and could have been. It acknowledges the uncertainty of this process but suggests that words may be found, preventing bad things from happening and allowing history to be written justly. The text concludes with a hope for a future where sunflowers grow from the bodies of enemies, and people live as they wished.