UNESCO Aids Local Ukrainian Art Community

Painting by Ukrainian artist

UNESCO Aids Local Ukrainian Art Community

War continues to rage in Ukraine following the military invasion of Russia in the country. Another form of resistance is occurring among Ukrainian citizens with support from UNESCO – confronting Russian forces through the arts emphasizes the distinct cultural identity of the Ukrainian people.

In a recent press release, UNESCO stated its desire to aid the artistic community of Ukraine as a means to promote the cultural heritage of the country. UNESCO described its mission statement as the necessity to “provide financial support to Ukrainian artists to support the continuation of artistic creation and access to cultural life.” While this will take effect over the course of the month, UNESCO plans to aid Ukrainian artists until the end of the war.

In conjunction with the Ukrainian NGO Museum of Contemporary Art, also known as MOCA NGO, UNESCO will endow grants for projects as part of the “Ukrainian Emergency Art Fund.” A number of political and cultural institutions have contributed to the grants. Olga Balashova, Head of NGO Museum of Contemporary Art, explained how the “vibrant and alive voices of Ukrainian cultural professionals and artists are [a] crucial element of sharing our values and vision for [the] future.” 

Drawing by artist Kinder Album representing Ukrainian resistance to the Russian invasion (https://ueaf.moca.org.ua/#:~:text=Museum%20of%20Contemporary%20Art%20(MOCA,museum%20institution%20in%20our%20country).

Besides the fund, there are a number of other programs contributing to the preservation of artistic expression in Ukraine — an archive, a program providing space for artists to create art, and online exhibits. All of these programs are intended to highlight the experience of art during the war, and, one day, as a memorial to the past. 

Photograph taken of a local Ukrainian workshop destroyed in Russian bombing (https://ueaf.moca.org.ua/#:~:text=Museum%20of%20Contemporary%20Art%20(MOCA,museum%20institution%20in%20our%20country).

On her personal website, Kinder Album, a native artist of Lviv, Ukraine, exhibits her drawings, photography, and sculptures for sale. Her most recent collection of artwork, referred to as “War Album,” is for sale, depicting the atrocities of war. She is not selling her art just for her own benefit – Album says that the profits of her artwork will “go to my volunteer initiatives to help my country Ukraine.” 

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