Research Grant for Ukrainian Lens-based Artists and Researchers
Vic Bakin (1984)
"Last year I started a still-untitled and ongoing project about the Ukrainian queer scene. Working with youth portraiture in general and being queer myself I am very engaged in the queer scene specifically. Here, after years of forbiddance and reppression, the queer scene begins to sprout from the underground, little by little gains its own unique voice, different from others. I personally feel obliged to give this voice a visual form."
Yana Kononova (1977)
"Since the end of March 2022, I have been working on an artistic study of the war. I take pictures on my medium format film camera of what has been happening in Ukraine since the beginning of the war with the Russian Federation. I move to areas that have been occupied or territories where hostilities have taken place. My focus is on traces of war crimes, destroyed civilian infrastructure, objects of the militaristic imagination of the invaders."
Nazar Furyk (1995)
"In my photographic practice before the full scale invasion I captured, or more often, arranged everyday still lives and landscapes, combining artificial objects with elements of the natural environment. Most of all, I really appreciated the deliberate and precise chaos of nature when emphasizing the surrealist and fragile nature of the landscape with its strange power.
Now I try to go through the 'chaos', I try to capture people with big hopes for the life ahead, people with a powerful belief in freedom, faith, and courage, and to show all these fragilities in the photos."
Viacheslav Poliakov (1986)
"I'm constantly trying to capture and share the unique aesthetic of my immediate environment. I record a combination of natural forms and human impact. Wild vegetation and signs of natural decay on the old walls, bleached by the southern sun of Kherson. Rusty metal fences and organic waste used as fertilisers in the backyards of Lviv. Graffiti layers on the gray soviet lime bricks. Old pain, re-captured and healed by nature.
With the full scale invasion of Russia, under the influence of images of torn apart bodies in the news feeds, I’ve started to tear apart the pictures I had. Mixing the records of old pain, almost vanished in time, with the new pain, live and growing."
Elena Subach (1980)
"My goal is to portray and record oral stories of people who were forced to leave their homes because of the war. I ask about the experience of abandoning everything and going into the unknown, about the conditions those people live in now. The photos you can see here were taken in Lviv shelters for internally displaced persons. Theaters, schools, libraries, kindergartens, and offices have been converted into shelters."
One guy from Mariupol said, "In order to be able to evacuate from there, you had to become a different person—half-empty and semi-new. Otherwise, you had no chance to leave the city. You become a person with no past as it has been taken away, a person whose memories have no material basis. There is nothing you are left with, not even the graves of your parents."
Researcher of contemporary Ukrainian photography, journalist and editor based in Kyiv. Ahmed co-edited the UPHA Made in Ukraine anthology of Ukrainian photography, published by BOOKSHA in 2021, and was a senior editor of the Your Art media platform, dedicated to contemporary visual art in Ukraine. She is a co-curator of the artist-run-space Hlebzawod (Kyiv).
Kaisa Eiche [Website] [Instagram]
Cloe Jancis [Website] [Instagram]
Joosep Kivimäe [Website] [Instagram]
Paul Kuimet artist [Instagram] [Website]
Eliis Laul artist [Instagram] [Website]
Anna Lehespalu artist [Instagram] [Website]
Keiu Maasik artist [Instagram] [Website]
Helen Melesk artist [Instagram] [Website]
Anna-Stina Treumund [Website]
Ivar Veermäe [Website]
Maria Arusoo is the director of the Center for Contemporary Arts Estonia and commissioner of the Estonian Pavilion at the Venice Biennial.
Kulla Laas (b. 1991 Tallinn, Estonia) studied Photography and Fine Arts at the Estonian Academy of Arts and completed her studies at the Emily Carr University of Art Design in Vancouver, Canada. In 2017, she received her MFA from the Estonian Academy of Arts with a thesis on the topic of artists self-organising. Laas currently works at the Department of Photography at the Estonian Academy of Arts. She is a board member and a curator of the Estonian Union of Photography Artists (Foku), and was the coordinator of the public programme for the Tallinn Photomonth contemporary art biennial in 2017 and 2019. Laas has also worked as a freelance artist, photographer and curator, and was one of the founding members of Rundum artist-run space in Tallinn.
Karin Laansoo is the Director of the Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center (ECADC) and Artistic Director of Kai Art Center. Since its inception in 2012, she has been responsible for the vision and programming for ECADC.
Marge Monko (b. 1976) is a visual artist who lives and works in Tallinn. She has studied at the Estonian Academy of Arts, University of Applied Arts Vienna, and Higher Institute for Contemporary Art (HISK) in Ghent. Monko works with photography, video, and installation. Her works are inspired by historical images and theories of psychoanalysis, feminism, and visual culture. She works as a professor in the Department of Photography at the Estonian Academy of Arts.
Annika Toots is an art researcher and curator working in Tallinn
ARS Art Factory Artist studios, workshops and galleries are the cornerstone of the contemporary creative centre. Today, ARS is an art community that combines innovation and history, contemporary practices and technology and the traditional skills of professional art in Estonia.
Estonian Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) is the oldest centre of expertise for contemporary art in Estonia. Creating opportunities and collaborations for Estonian artists and art scene since 1992, the CCA is also the commissioner of the Estonian pavilion at the Venice Biennale since 1999. A unique database of Estonian artists, curators and critics is located on CCA’s website which offers the first gateway in being introduced to the Estonian art scene.
FOKU Estonian Union of Photography Artists The mission of the union is to broaden society’s interest towards contemporary visual culture and to increase the knowledge of Estonian art scene internationally. Since 2011 Foku has organised Tallinn Photomonth – an artist led biennial of contemporary art and visual culture.
At Foto Tallinn, exhibiting artists, collectives, galleries and project spaces can introduce selected works to a diverse audience. Foto Tallinn’s programme includes meetings with artists, panel discussions and book launches. Art fair Foto Tallinn will continue to take place as a collaboration between the Estonian Union of Photography Artists (FOKU) and the Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center (ECADC) during the biennial off-years. The 11th edition of the fair is expected to take place at Kai Art Center in the Fall of 2024.
Kai Art Center is the cultural heart of the seaside Noblessner harbor complex – a fascinating mix of regional history, period-tinged architecture, and contemporary art and culture. In a century-old former secret submarine plant, visitors will encounter captivating and thought-provoking exhibitions, art, and cinema, four cafés and restaurants, a joint office for cultural organizations.
Tallinn Art Hall Foundation A contemporary art establishment founded in 1934 that currently presents exhibitions in two galleries – at Tallinn Art Hall Lasnamäe Pavilion (24 Jaan Koorti Street) and Tallinn City Gallery. The exhibitions of Tallinn Art Hall are installed by Valge Kuup Studio.
Temnikova & Kasela gallery was established in 2010 by Olga Temnikova, an artist and graphic designer with previous experience as a gallery director, and Indrek Kasela, a creative entrepreneur, philanthropist, cinema owner, and film producer. The gallery provides local and international professional representation for established and emerging artists from the region including Estonia, Latvia, Finland, and Russia.
Kogo Gallery is a contemporary art space that opened at The Widget Factory in Tartu in the spring of 2018, and is aimed at improving the international visibility of artists and introducing their art practice more broadly.
More is coming soon!
We are continuously growing our database of artists, researchers, curators and institutions. Do you feel someone is missing? Please write us an e-mail at email@example.com
We asked: What are the most meaningful ways to support the Ukrainian photographic community?
Scholarships that allow us to continue our work and give the world a more in-depth perspective on the situation in Ukraine.
Push your cultural institutions to understand their colonial approach to all ex-members of the Russian empire.
Ensure artists' visibility and active participation in the international photographic context, assist them in building new cultural networks and in maintaining existing ones.