Alona Karavai


Documenting Ukraine Grants

Evacuating and Archiving Contemporary Art in Ukraine: Documenting the Cultural Process in Ukraine during the War

In 2014 I escaped the Donetsk region with my two-year-old daughter. Back then I could go to Berlin where I worked on Ukraine-related cultural and educational projects in the period between 2014 and 2017. In 2017 I moved back to Ukraine, choosing Ivano-Frankivsk as my new home and the community to which I wanted to contribute. Since the first day of the invasion, I knew that I didn't want to escape once more, but needed to use my skills and connections to aid in the struggle against Putin’s autocratic vision of Europe. Thus, since the first day of the invasion, I’ve started to “use” my public status and leading function in a few organizations to start and maintain several crisis projects. 

By early March, I was involved in initiating three different programs. Together with the team at my gallery Asortymentna Kimnata we launched a program for the evacuation of artworks. At the time of writing we have received 24 requests, implemented nine of those and could forward to secure bunkers a series of works by 17 artists. So far we have rescued around 400 works of art. Together with the gallery team and Ukrainian artist Lesia Khomenko, we launched a crisis urban residency, called Working Room, for artists coming to Ivano-Frankivsk from other cities in Ukraine. And together with the team of Terror Museum in Lviv, we created the Museum Crisis Center, which supports small museums in Eastern and Southern Ukraine that are out of reach of the Ukrainian Cultural Ministry. 

As of Spring 2022, I’m working on requests and curatorial concepts to bring the current works of Ukrainian artists to museums abroad and to international festivals. I am also focused on archiving contemporary art and especially the current artistic process in Ukraine. I am also involved in establishing the online platform post impreza, which hosts curatorial and critical texts about the current artistic process in Western Ukraine and especially in Ivano-Frankivsk.


Grant on behalf of:

Latest Grantee's Blog Posts

  • Learning to Understand Suffering Different from One's Own: Aliona Karavai's Conversation With Yurko Prokhasko About Loneliness
    Yuri Prohasko is a Ukrainian literary scholar, psychoanalyst, and publicist from Ivano-Frankivsk. Among other works, he has translated Rainer Maria Rilke and Franz Kafka from German, Deborah Vogel from Yiddish, and Leszek Kołakowski from Polish into Ukrainian. Aliona Karavai is a cultural manager from Donetsk, co-founder of the media outlet post impreza, and the director and curator of the Assortment Room in Ivano-Frankivsk. At the request of Suspilne Kultura, Aliona Karavai and Yurko Prokhasko spoke about loneliness, love, and how war vividly illustrates virtues and vices.