What Art Makes of War: perspectives on and from the Ukraine War

Hosted by the European Institute

Online and in-person public event (MAR.2.07, Marshall Building)


Svitlana Biedarieva

Svitlana Biedarieva

George F. Kennan Fellow, Kennan Institute, Wilson Center

Rachel Kerr

Rachel Kerr

Professor, King's College London

Denisa Kostovicova

Denisa Kostovicova

Associate Professor, European Institute LSE

Olha Pryymak

Olha Pryymak

Artist, Royal College of Art London


Jennifer Jackson-Preece

Jennifer Jackson-Preece

Associate Professor in Nationalism, LSE

In face of unspeakable violence, often it is creative practice that can best communicate trauma, outrage and a desire for peace. Reflecting on the implications and experiences of the Ukraine war and relating them to other conflicts, the panel comprised of artists and scholars discusses the role of art and its limits in addressing wartime violence and its effects. 

Our speakers and chair

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.

Rachel Kerr is Professor of War and Society at the King's College London. She is a contemporary historian working on transitional and post-conflict justice and memory and international law and war. She co-convenes the War Crimes Research Group at King’s. She was previously a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, and a Visiting Research Associate at the Centre for International Policy Studies, University of Ottawa, Canada. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and the Royal Historical Society.

Denisa Kostovicova (@DenisaKost) is Associate Professor of Global Politics at LSE's European Institute, LSE & Co-chair of Conflict, Justice, and Peace. She is a schgolar of post-conflict reconstruction with a particular interest in post-conflict justice processes. She is the author of Kosovo: The Politics of Identity and Space and Reconciliation by Stealth: How People Talk about War Crimes. She is currently directing a major research programme funded by the ERC Consolidator Grant, “Justice Interactions and Peacebuilding: From Static to Dynamic Discourses Across National, Ethnic, Gender and Age Groups.”

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.

Jennifer Jackson-Preece is an Associate Professor in Nationalism, with a joint appointment in both the European Institute and the Department of International Relations, LSE. She holds a BA and MA in Political Science from the University of British Columbia and a DPhil in International Relations from Oxford University. In addition to her academic research, Dr. Jackson-Preece acts as a consultant for various international and non-governmental organisations in the area of human and minority rights protection, and ethnic conflict regulation.

More about this event

This event is part of an exhibition being hosted at the LSE, At the Heart of War: Ukrainian resilience and resistance through art. The exhibition is part of the LSE Festival 2023.

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

The hashtage for this event is #LSEUkraine


This event is available for playback here.


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