Ukrainian artists have had a wide range of responses to the Russian invasion. From New York to amid the bomb shelters in the war zone, their work supports the war effort in creative ways.
Ukrainian Artists United against the Russian Invasion
The annexation of Crimea and Ukrainian cities has provoked a strong response from Ukrainian culture. With the United States – and the world’s – unwavering commitment to the ongoing war, the Ukrainian army is often the focus of many artworks coming from the war-torn country. Other responses include the impact on Ukraine’s children (for example the Ukrainian National Museum in Chicago hosted “Children of War: Moments of War Horrors through the lens of Photographers” in April).
Female Artists in the War Effort
Many female artists were represented in a Welsh exhibition that featured many creative ways to express the reality of war and the kind of situation that many Ukrainians find themselves in (see “Ukrainian War Art” at Swansea Print Makers). With Russian troops in their face and becoming a part of everyday life, public discussions of social issues provoked by the war are rife on social media with channels like Ukraine War Art on Twitter selling NFTs in support of Ukraine; or have a look at the hashtag #ukrainewarart where many Ukrainian people express their feelings of the invasion by the Russian army.
Ukrainian Culture in a War Zone
Public spaces in Ukraine are given over to art. The city center of Kyiv, for example, held an exhibition of destroyed and damaged tanks. And steeped with irony, the Ukrainian pavilion at the Venice Biennale opened on the first day of the war. The Russian pavilion was empty.
It seems a long way to go before the current war can end. But with Ukrainian society united against invasion by Russian president Vladimir Putin, original artworks of interest continue to be produced. And with the experience of war foremost in Ukrainian minds, it seems Russia’s war will continue to be the motivation in producing interesting new artworks in Ukraine today.