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Ukrainian Art as Protest and Resilience

Ukrainian Art as Protest and Resilience

The Nanovic Institute for European Studies announces the opening of a new in-person and digital exhibition “Ukrainian Art as Protest and Resilience.” To coincide with the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Institute launched this exhibition, the outcome of an undergraduate research project, in the Forum, Nanovic Hall on Wednesday, February 22, 2022.

The exhibition presents a series of works, created by Ukrainian artists during the war, accompanied by analytical insights provided by students who conducted research during the 2022-23 winter break. The exhibition showcases different formats, including digital, sacred, and street art, music, fashion, and art by Ukrainian children.

The exhibition is a chance to witness the creation of contemporary Ukrainian art as war became an integral part of day-to-day reality. It provides a lens through which one can take a peek, from the point of view of Ukrainian artists and their allies, at the new routine and adjustments Ukrainians have made to accommodate the realities of war. These artists reflect the emotions of ordinary people, many of whom suffer through unimaginable atrocities.

Yaryna Pysko, a Masters in Global Affairs student and advisor for the research project, talks about the exhibition with Clemens Sedmak, director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies and professor of social ethics.

Because art has become a coping mechanism, a lot of these works transmit Ukrainian’s grief as they confront the loss of loved ones who died on the battlefield, during targeted civilian attacks, or during terror in the occupied territories. Their homes have been destroyed by russian missiles, forcing many families to flee abroad in search of safety. Those who one morning found themselves under occupation, had to gather the remnants of their homes, their lives and transit thousands of kilometers through russian filtration camps and bypass several countries to return to Ukraine.

In a discussion of the project’s background, Abigail Lewis, postdoctoral research associate at the Nanovic Institute, writes: “This exhibition seeks to highlight Ukrainian protest and resilience during the invasion by Russia and how public art has become a medium of resistance, traumatic mediation, and expressions of identity. Faced with the threat of cultural annihilation, Ukrainian artists have brought Ukrainian identity, history, and culture to the fore.”

The in-person exhibition will be on display in the Nannovic Hall Forum until March 10, 2022. The digital exhibition is available at the link below: Ukrainian Art as Protest and Resilience

Source: Nanovic Institute

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