Ukrainian Perspectives: Photography From The 1940s—Now at ChaShaMa, NYC

by Amina Ahmed

12. 4. 2023 – 5. 5. 2023

Curators: Fred Ritchin and Ira Lupu

Joint multimedia exhibition to feature over 100 images of Ukrainian life and war through contemporary and archival photography by international and Ukrainian artists. A series of live and virtual panel discussions will take place featuring a roster of photographers, curators, and experts on decolonisation in the arts, influencers, and frontline volunteers.

An accompanying auction of works on view takes place through the duration of the exhibition to benefit the non-profit Spilka in its effort to provide relief and mutual aid in Ukraine.

This exhibition, curated by Fred Ritchin and Ira Lupu, offers a visual response to political pressures that have been shaping Ukrainian representation for centuries, reclaiming narrative control by offering a glimpse into the daily lives of Ukrainians from their own points of view. Ukrainian Perspectives gives unprecedented access to a combination of archival images of pre-2014 Ukraine and war coverage by Magnum photographers, photos of post-2014 everyday life from Ukrainian photographers, and projections from all groups of participants. The show explores Ukraine and Ukrainians beyond the parameters of war, giving viewers a window into the lives of the people not just surviving the present moment, but also shaping their future.

The exhibition's first floor will feature selected images taken in Ukraine post-2014 that will be available for sale as part of the Spilka auction. The photographs were selected through an open call to professional and amateur photographers by a jury of Ukrainian photo and art professionals (Lyolya Goldstein, Yaroslav Solop, Ira Lupu, Betty Roytburd, and Lena Shkoda). These Spilka-selected works will be displayed alongside archival (pre-2014) imagery by Magnum photographers in Ukraine, including rarely-seen works by Robert Capa, Herbert List, Martin Parr, Jim Goldberg, Carolyn Drake, Thomas Dworzak, etc. Depicting everyday life in Ukraine in different moments of the 20th century, the exhibition explores a range of topics, from the displacement of indigenous Crimean Tatars and the Second World War to nature, human relationships, and everyday life. A collection of Ukrainian publications and war-related books and zines will also be on view and available for sale.

On the second floor is a special installation merging photography, video, and sound by professional Ukrainian photographers who participated in the 2022 exhibition, In Ukraine, (including Sasha Maslov, Yelena Yemchuk, and Elena Subach) and coverage of the current conflict by several Magnum photographers (including Antoine D’Agata, Emin Özmen, Jerome Sessini, Paolo Pellegrin, Sabiha Çimen, among others). Some of these works will be shown as projections with a dedicated soundtrack.


RSVP Required

SAINTS: Presentation and Artist Talk About Sasha Maslov’s Upcoming photo book about the Everyday Heroes of Ukraine
Speaker: Sasha Maslov, Moderated by Christian Borys and Violetta Petrova
Participants will discuss insights from the process of creating a photobook during crisis, merging boundaries between internet culture and photography during the war, and how war creates conditions for and necessitates unusual collaborations, both in the creative field and the frontlines. (April 14, ChaShaMa Space at 227 W 29th St.)

War on the Internet / Memeing through War: A Discussion by Saint Javelin’s Social Media Lead Violetta Petrova and Cultural Critic and Musician Aloiso Wilmoth
The participants will discuss memes as means to express trauma through humor and irony, links between their ability to “hack” the attention of bystanders online, witnessing conflict online, insider/outsider perspective when learning and communicating about the war. (April 15, ChaShaMa Space)

Can Photography Still be Helpful in the world? A Discussion with Magnum Photographers, Moderated by Fred Ritchin
What impact do all these many images of contemporary events in Ukraine have on the world, whether the images are made by Ukrainians or by foreign photojournalists? Are there certain kinds of images that lead to greater understanding rather than a repetition of the spectacle of violence? (May 4, Magnum Foundation)

Ukrainian Culture and Art through the decolonial lens

Moderated By Spilka’s co-founder Betty Roytburd

Decolonization plays a crucial role in discussing Ukrainian culture, in its global representation in cultural institutions, and beyond. How do we adress the ways in which armed conflicts affect social and institutional structures of power and explore the potential influence autonomous individuals can have over them? Ultimately, these efforts are geared towards imagining a post-colonial future that resists the violence of oppression and acknowledges the colonial nature of Ukrainian-Russian history in cultural critique. Guests include Olha Balashova, Bayryam Bayryamali, Oksana Semenik, and Lisa Korneichuk. (April 28, 1 pm EST, Online) 

Territories Are People

Moderated by Terrell J Starr. (April 20, Online)

Volunteers of the international organization “Helping to Leave” talk about the complexities of evacuation from occupied territories and human rights violations since the beginning of the full-scale war, and the Ukrainian POC refugee crisis. 

Ukrainian Perspectives: Photography From The 1940s—Now

On View: 12. 4. 2023 – 5. 5. 2023

Thu-Sat 10–18 h
Sun 11–17 h

675 3rd Ave,
32nd floor,
New York, NY 10017

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