Opening of the Exhibition “Documenting Ukraine: Bearing Witness to War” at Bildraum Studio
On 2 June 2023, the exhibition “Documenting Ukraine: Bearing Witness to War” will be officially opened. The exhibition, organized in cooperation with Bildrecht and FOTO WIEN, will be held from 2 June to 1 July 2023 at Bildraum Studio.
Documenting Ukraine and Ukrainians
Serhii Korovayny has been documenting the Russo-Ukrainian War since its start in the Donbas in 2015. His wide-ranging work, which has been supported by Documenting Ukraine, captures daily life during wartime, Russian atrocities in Ukraine, environmental issues, displaced people, and healthcare topics, among other themes. His photographs will be presented as part of the exhibition Documenting Ukraine: Bearing Witness to War at Bildraum Studio in Vienna from 3 June till 1 July 2023.
A Speech to Europe 2023 by Oleksandra Matviichuk
On 9 May, Oleksandra Matviichuk, Head of the Center for Civil Liberties, delivered this year's Speech to Europe on Vienna's Judenplatz. Under the banner “No Peace without Freedom, No Justice without Law,” the Ukrainian lawer and human rights activist underlined the importance of international solidarity and resistance against injustice. Read the full transcript of her speech in English here.
A Year Ago, We Survived a Terrorist Attack at the Kramatorsk Railway Station. Our Very Lives Are Open Wounds
On 8 April, a terrorist attack struck the Kramatorsk railway station. Russian troops shelled civilians who wanted to flee to safe regions. The enemy’s two Tochka-U cluster missiles killed 61 and wounded 121 people. Among them are the heroes of this article: Anastasiia Shestopal, Vladyslav Kopychko and Kateryna Iorhu. They were severely wounded, and subsequently underwent painful surgeries and rehabilitation procedures. Below is what happened to them during the six months following the terrorist attack that changed their lives forever. The material was created for Svoi.City within the framework of the Life of War project supported by the Public Interest Journalism Lab and the IWM.
Stories from the liberated Kharkiv region: A Life in War project by Zaborona Media
As a result of Ukraine’s first counteroffensive in September 2022, the Armed Forces of Ukraine liberated nearly the entire Kharkiv region, one-third of which was occupied by Russian forces. Liberation revealed similar sights to what the world had witnessed in Bucha and Hostomel in the Kyiv region in April 2022; torture chambers and mass graves were found in towns and villages. These findings are not the only evidence of massive atrocities that took place under occupation in Izium and Balakliia. Seven months have passed since the liberation of the Kharkiv region; as Ukraine prepares for another counteroffensive, it is a fitting moment to recall the sorts of experiences they are liberating Ukrainians from. Here we look back on what Ganna Sokolova, a journalist with Zaborona Media, found upon first coming to the liberated territories. This is the first in a series of blog posts that will highlight the work of Ukrainian media organizations as part of the joint project Life of War, implemented by Ukrainian journalists in collaboration with PIJL and the Documenting Ukraine program at the IWM. Life in War focuses on capturing human stories and documenting the modern history of Ukraine against the backdrop of the Russo-Ukrainian War.
Anastasia Vlasova was one of the first photographers who came to Kherson right after its deoccupation on 11 November 2022. Born and raised in Kherson, she used to refer to her hometown as "a small city where nothing ever happens" and then admits, "until last year, obviously."
Documenting Ukraine as an Act of Solidarity
Within hours of the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the IWM made a commitment to increasing our support for Ukrainian intellectuals, building on our tradition of practical solidarity with societies fighting for freedom and our longstanding engagement with Ukrainian academia and civil society. We recognized that chronicling the Russo-Ukrainian War was something that the IWM was uniquely positioned to contribute to.
The Longest February: One Year of Full-Scale War
There has not been a moment since the morning of 24 February 2022 left untouched by the Russo-Ukrainian War. A wry commonplace among Ukrainians is that February 2022 still hasn’t ended – we are now in its 13thmonth. It feels both impossible and essential to reflect on the past year, to think about where we stand now, and to envision the future. Here we present a selection of publications by members of the IWM community tied in some way to the anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in English and German. Many of the authors represented here are part of the IWM's Documenting Ukraine program. New items are added on an ongoing basis.
Ihor Bartkiv: "The war must be documented—and someone has to do it"
People who experienced the Russian occupation of Bucha and other towns in the Kyiv region in February-March 2022 are now trying to save themselves mentally rather than physically, seeking refuge from their memories. The rapid reconstruction of the city, which so captivated outside observers, is also a way to try to return to “pre-February 24” Bucha. The archivists and regional experts who lived through all these horrible events are forced to bring together their personal experiences and their professional duties. The employees of the Archive Department of the Bucha City Council, where documents of the National Archives are held, have spent every day since the very beginning of the full-scale invasion recording events on the spot, taking photographs, capturing video footage. Now the Archive Department is cataloging these materials and providing information to journalists, to legal experts who are investigating war crimes, and to other interested parties. The head of the Archive Department of the Bucha City Council, Ihor Bartkiv, discusses his experience in Bucha under occupation by Russian forces.
Why Documenting Ukraine? Bearing Witness through Culture and Scholarship
The IWM launched Documenting Ukraine in March 2022 to contribute to creating a record of the Russo-Ukrainian War, capturing the human experience of that war, and making it accessible and comprehensible to the broader world. Since then, we have supported 192 projects proposed by Ukrainian scholars, creative professionals, journalists, public intellectuals, and preservation experts that establish and preserve a factual record or bring meaning to events through artistic interpretation and intellectual reflection. Ultimately, the materials collected and produced through these projects will be housed in a complex, transdisciplinary archive.
Olena Braichenko: "There is a love and care that can be shown to others precisely through food"
“ïzhakultura” is an independent project about food culture that was founded by Olena and Artem Braichenko in 2017. It is the first resource in Ukraine dedicated to the history of Ukrainian cuisine, where scholars, chefs, food critics, and food anthropologists discuss history, culture, and art through the prism of food. Over the five years of its existence, ïzhakultura has included gastronomy research, the publishing house ïzhak, and numerous thematic events, which not only deepen Ukrainians’ knowledge of their own culture, but also tell the world about Ukraine. Here Olena Braichenko talks about ïzhakultura’s work since February 24.
The Voices of Kharkiv: Reconstructing Everyday Life in Wartime
Since February 24, 2022, Kharkiv, the second-largest city in Ukraine with a population of 1,5 million, has been undergoing daily shelling, missile attacks, and unprecedented destruction. Only 40 kilometers from the Russian border, the city was considered an easy target for the Russian forces, who expected the largely Russophone residents to welcome them as liberators. Far from that, the city mobilized to fight the invaders and resists heroically for nearly ten months of the war.
Education in the Shelter: Testimonies of Teaching and Learning during the War
University professors teaching classes from trenches, children doing homework by candlelight, teachers giving lectures after being evacuated from their hometowns – this is the new “normal” of Ukrainian education. According to the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, as of late October 2022 2,677 schools and universities have been damaged by the war and 331 have been destroyed. More than half a million students and over 25,000 teachers fled abroad as refugees. But while the education process continues online and in hybrid forms, there is an acute need to understand and assess the experiences and needs of students and faculty. Documenting Ukraine supports several initiatives that collect testimonies and record such experiences.