At the Heart of War: Ukrainian resilience and resistance through art | LSE Festival

Hosted by LSE Festival: People and Change

Atrium Gallery, Old Building

Impacted and transformed by the events of February 2022 and on, Ukrainian artists and photographers reflect on the war in their homeland and against their people.

The exhibition approaches the war from both the personal and the public lens. Artists reflect on what the conflict means to them and their communities, while engaging with the public narratives of the war, the resistance of a people, propagandisation by the aggressors, and the voyeurism of distant, foreign spectators. The artists’ views of the personal and the public are threaded by their sense of grief and loss, but also by their sense of resilience and their perceptions of the future of Ukraine and the resolve of Ukrainians.

Meet the artists and photographers

Svitlana Biedarieva is an art historian, artist, and curator. As an artist, she focuses on the topics of decolonisation, violence, and resistance.  In 2022/23, Svitlana was selected as the Prince Claus Seed Award Laureate for her artistic work, the CEC ArtsLink International Fellow for her curatorial work, and the George F. Kennan Fellow at the Wilson Centre and the Non-Resident Visiting Fellow at the George Washington University for her research. She is the editor of Contemporary Ukrainian and Baltic Art: Political and Social Perspectives, 1991-2021 (ibidem Press, 2021) and the co-editor of At the Front Line. Ukrainian Art, 2013-2019 (Editorial 17, 2020). You can view her work here.

Yan Dobronosov is a Ukrainian photojournalist. He is known for his political and war photography. His January 15, 2023 Yellow Kitchen Photo was widely shared on social media. On February 22, 2023 Dobronosov was awarded a За честь и славу (English: "For Honour and Glory") (Level 3) medal by Head of Ukraine's State Guard Service, an honour usually received for the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. You can view his work here.

Kostiantyn Liberov and Vlada Liberova are a couple who work together as war photographers from Ukraine. They have been photographing the war since the large-scale invasion in 2022 and have documented in photos the long-lasting and one of the most tragic battles for Bachmut, Donetsk region. They also filmed in Kharkiv, Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Mykolaiv, Bucha, Irpyn, and Kyiv, as well as in many small towns of Ukraine. They have gone beyond the front line and filmed at the positions of Ukrainian fighters. You can view their work here.

Olha Pryymak is a painter, currently based at Royal College of Art in London. To keep a clear head from the grief over what’s going on in her birthplace, Olha looks to plants.  It’s always been about the plants, her family having worked on the land and practicing herbalism.  She has been using plants as a medium and protagonists of the narratives in her work.  Recent shows include:  High Official at Scoop, Saatchi Gallery, London 2023;  “Friends and Family” group show and Hong Kong Art Basel OVR with Pi Artworks 2022; Stand with Ukraine,  fundraising show, Hales Gallery, London 2022; Out of Touch, Festival of Intimacy, UCL, London, 2021. You can view her work here.

More about this exhibition 

This event is part of the LSE Festival: People and Change running from Monday 12 to Saturday 17 June 2023, with a series of events exploring how change affects people and how people effect change. Booking for all Festival events will open on Monday 15 May.   

The European Institute (@LSEEI) is a centre for research and graduate teaching on the processes of integration and fragmentation within Europe.

The Department of International Relations (@LSEIRDept) at LSE is now in it's 95th year - one of the oldest as well as largest IR departments in the world, with a truly international reputation.

Twitter hashtags for this event: #LSEFestival   

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