"The photo volumes ‘Ukraine – The Path to Freedom, Vol. 1 & 2 pioneer an approach from a Ukrainian historical perspective. For centuries, Ukraine has been continuously fighting for its own identity, freedom, language, and state borders. The Eastern part of the country joined the then-forming Soviet Union after the revolution in 1917—1918, while Western Ukraine was joined by military force in 1939. The Ukrainian Socialist Republic went through a long period of eradicating national identity and the formation of new images, symbols, propaganda and a new ‘Soviet’ identity. Old narratives were destroyed, historical facts were manipulated, and those who did not share the new ideology eliminated, literally or by silencing their voices through deportations and other means. When the Soviet Union fell, Ukraine declared its independence. On August 24, 1991, a new stage of development and restoration of a lost identity began.
Art is a mirror of society and especially photography can be a means towards deeper cultural understanding and engagement. It tells us how Ukraine is travelling along a historical path of a struggle for freedom – for its borders, the right to exist, its culture and its future. As recent events prove, the price of this struggle is high.
The publication '‘Ukraine – The Path To Freedom’ is a companion to the exhibition ‘Ukraine – The Path to Freedom’ hosted by Noorderlicht at the Akerk in Groningen, The Netherlands and pioneers an approach to photography from a Ukrainian historical perspective. The exhibition is curated by Kateryna Radchenko (Odesa Photo Days Festival) and Wim Melis (Noorderlicht). It is a coproduction between Noorderlicht and Foundation for Old Groningen Churches, in cooperation with Odesa Photo Days Festival and The Information Front.
This independent publication series portrays the important events in Ukraine’s history. ‘Ukraine – The Path To Freedom’ looks at the period of the country’s independence, from the first attempts at a revolution through its photographic language in the 1970s, to the present day. It visualizes key events in the history of Ukraine and looks at the development of photography during this period. The exhibition and Volume 2 aims to show how the socio-political and artistic life in the country are intimately connected.
Both the show and publication ‘Ukraine – The Path To Freedom’ consists of four parts, corresponding to four recent historical periods and offers the works of several generations of Ukrainian artists and photographers. It shows how photography acts on multiple social levels: as a method of recording changes, as a form of protest, a personal story, a reflection on events, and as political statement. Work from the following photographers can be seen during the exhibition: Alexander CHEKMENEV, Andrii DOSTLIEV & Lia DOSTLIEVA, Andriy LORNAKIN, Boris MIKHAILOV, Dmytro KOZATSKYI, Elena SUBACH, Evgeniy PAVLOV, Kirill GOLOVCHENKO, Lisa BUKRAYEVA, Maxim Dondyuk, Mila TeESHAIEVA, Mstyslav CHERNOV, Mykhaylo PALINCHAK, Mykola RIDNYI, Oksana PARAFENIUK, Oleksandr SUPRUN, Paraska PLYTKA-HORYTSVIT, Rita OSTROVSKA, Roman Khimei & Yarema MALASHCHUK, Sasha KURMAZ, Valeriy MILOSERDOV, Viacheslav POLIAKOV, Viktor & Sergiy KOCHETOV and Vladyslav KRASNOSHCHOK.
The second volume of 'The Information Front - Ukraine: the path to freedom', is also here available as a set with volume 1. Proceeds from this book will be donated to 'The Depths of Art', an institution that supports Ukrainian culture, including photographers." (© Schilt Publishing, 2022)
About the participating photographers
- Alexander CHEKMENEV, Andrii DOSTLIEV & Lia DOSTLIEVA, Andriy LORNAKIN, Boris MIKHAILOV, Dmytro KOZATSKYI, Elena SUBACH, Evgeniy PAVLOV, Kirill GOLOVCHENKO, Lisa BUKRAYEVA, Maxim Dondyuk, Mila TESHAIEVA, Mstyslav CHERNOV, Mykhaylo PALINCHAK, Mykola RIDNYI, Oksana PARAFENIUK, Oleksandr SUPRUN, Paraska PLYTKA-HORYTSVIT, Rita OSTROVSKA, Roman Khimei & Yarema MALASHCHUK, Sasha KURMAZ, Valeriy MILOSERDOV, Viacheslav POLIAKOV, Viktor & Sergiy KOCHETOV and Vladyslav KRASNOSHCHOK.