Museum & exhibitions
Friday 24 February 2023 - Sunday 14 May 2023

Whispers and Shouts. Voices of Ukrainian Women Photographers

Whispers and Shouts. Voices of Ukrainian Women Photographers
Yana Kononova, Radiations of War #51-12

Practical information

Lange Nieuwstraat 7
3512 PA Utrecht View location

On the 24th February 2022, the Russian Federation began a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine. The invasion marked a new turn in a war that first broke out nine years ago, when the Crimean Peninsula was annexed in 2014, and when swaths of the Donbas region were occupied.

This ongoing war is extremely brutal; the Russian military deliberately attacks civilians – killing, raping, torturing, targeting humanitarian missions, and organising forced deportations to Russia. Civilian infrastructure – be it power plants, schools, cultural objects, hospitals, public transportation or residential buildings – is often the main target. The scale of destruction and the toll of human casualties grow constantly. At the time of writing, Ukrainian government statistics show 52,633 registered war crimes, 120,000 civilian buildings destroyed, 10,607 civilians injured, and 6,755 killed.

 The war’s severity has led to mass displacement, both within Ukraine and beyond its borders. With fluctuating cycles of departure and return, it is difficult to estimate the scale of displacement; when only registered cases inform statistics, the reality is likely further-reaching than reports suggest. Where the International Organisation for Migration estimates that over 6.5 million people have moved internally, the UNHCR cites 7.9 million registered as refugees across Europe – of which more than 86 thousand currently reside in the Netherlands. This is the largest displacement of people in Europe since World War II, and with Ukrainian men aged 18 or over obliged to remain in the country, the majority of those uprooted are women. 

Whispers and Shouts. Voices of Ukrainian Women Photographers gathers stories of war and displacement by artists of Ukrainian origin. Their projects address complexities of emotion, pain, loss, connections between people, and the trauma of being separated from home. Most of these stories reflect the artists’ personal realities – of losing close friends and family, of reuniting with relatives under new circumstances, of investigating their roots, or of experiencing motherhood in times of war. 

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